https://www.duolingo.com/raffael1984

beer = coffin ?

Apparently "bière" * refers to both coffin as well as beer ...

(actually - I noticed that reading L'Etranger by Camus ... sorry, for the bragging :)

My two etymological theories:

1) people used to (and still do) drink a lot of alcohol (beer) to cope with grief from close ones having passed away.

2) the term originally refers to the wooden box - where either bottles or bodies are kept in.

Any ideas?

January 15, 2015

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SouthrnGal

Haha I am amused :D

January 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Maraplu

I believe they're just homonyms with different etymologies. 'Bière', as in the drink, comes from the Latin 'bibere', to drink. The internet tells me that 'bière' or 'bier' in English, as in coffin, comes from the old English 'ber' or some variation of that.

January 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/raffael1984

> from the old English 'ber' or some variation of that

that would make sense of course (to be(a)r something ... first a woman bears you and then four men :S )

January 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dkenneth

According to Larousse it comes from the word 'bier' in Middle Dutch.

January 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Azure_Waters

This was fun to read! (: I am amused as well!

January 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SouthrnGal

Lol :D

January 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/yomofos

Lol :D

January 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/vartonk

Ha Ha .... Nice observation.

January 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/gmartinnc

A bier is an old word for a stretcher/frame on which a dead person (or coffin) is placed on the way to burial.

January 16, 2015
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