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Knock on Wood

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 20 Aug 2020, 00:41


Who's there?

Wooden chair.

Wooden chair who?

Wooden chair like to know?

When I first visited Greece, amongst friends who did not know English, they would politely gesture to a chair and say Kathiste = be seated. The meaning was clear and intuitive. And later I learned that a cathedral is called a cathedral because it has a special seat - a cathedra - where a bishop sits in office, and it comes from the same Greek root.

But only tonight did I realise that English chair, French chaise, are from the same root. Obvious now, and probably why all those years ago I straightaway understood Kathiste.

English has borrowed from French then; but we still have stool (German for chair is Stuhl) and sit (German for sit is sitzen, Dutch is zitten). Which reminds me...


     Who's there?


    Clog who?

Wooden shoe like to know?

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