What's in a Word | All Blogs


Zulu, anyone?

By Debra Dobbins

English seemingly knows no international boundaries. Our language is like a giant vacuum cleaner, sucking up words everywhere it can.

Case in point: impala. Used to describe a small antelope in central and South Africa, it came into English in 1875 from the Zulu word for gazelle, im-pala, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. Zulu is the language of the Zulu people, most of whom live in South Africa.

It's easy enough to understand why Chevy dubbed one of its vehicles after this creature. Impalas are quick runners, and their curved horns (on males, anyway) and sleek bodies are elegantly eye-catching. “Impala” thus implies speed and good looks.

Wikipedia notes that impalas “communicate using a variety of visual and vocal communication.” Considering the technological advances found in modern vehicles, that connotation seems appropriate, too.

Oh, I can't resist: Bravo to the Zulus for such an interesting word!

Zulu dancer
Photo by Ernmuhl courtesy of Wikipedia

 

The impala is also known for its giant leaps, as high as 3 meters (9.8 feet), according to Wikipedia.
Photo by Arturo de Frias Marques courtesy of Wikipedia

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.




Recent Posts
Something’s still alive in the garden in December
By Penny Stine
Friday, December 19, 2014

The Top 10 Top 10 Albums Lists
By David Goe
Thursday, December 18, 2014

APPLE-PICKING IN DECEMBER
By Nic.Korte
Thursday, December 18, 2014

Don’t throw out the inserts: Finding coupons you can use
By Julie Norman
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Merry whatever you want this season to be
By Robin Dearing
Tuesday, December 16, 2014


TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Sign in to your account
Information

© 2014 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy