Friday, February 8, 2013

Arabic Word in English: Gerbil

The English word GERBIL comes from French gerbille. The French is from Latin gerbillus, diminutive of gerbo, which is in turn from Arabic yarbu. The Oxford English Dictionary provides this citation for 1702: "I was presented with a small Animal called Gerbo, which was brought for a rarity from Barbary."

I had a pet gerbil when I was little! You can read more about gerbils in this Wikipedia article.

The image is by Peter Roberts at Flickr:

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