Found whilst hunting help for a tiny bit of Judæo-Spanish/Sefardi/Dzhudezmo/Judezmo/Spanyol/Spanyolit/Ladino-English translation I did for someone. The book is The Lives of the Right Hon. Francis North …, The Hon. Sir Dudley North …, and The Hon. and Rev. Dr. John North (Roger North, 1826, available on GBS), the year is 1680, and the great English economist, trader and gypsy abductee Dudley North is travelling across Spain from Alicante to Cádiz on his way back from Turkey:
Our merchant was not ill qualified to travel in this country, and to converse in the great trading towns; for he spoke Giffoot very fluently, which is a corrupt Spanish. But because the Jews write it in Hebrew characters (which he also could do) it is called Giffoot, or the language which the Jews speak; so, having this dialect at command, he was his own interpreter.
I don’t think gif- has anything to do with juif, and I can’t think of anything else usefully related in this part of the Mediterranean (the Hon. Rog’s use of the Italian cimici for bedbugs in the previous para to explain the cartman’s dislike of barn accommodation is different), so I guess it’s a loan from Hebrew or from whichever dialect of Turkish was popular in Constantinople back then or whatever. Since the two women in my Turkish class dragged our plump and pretty teacher off to WeightWatchers after only ten lessons, leaving me on my tod, I don’t feel qualified to investigate the Turkish connection further.
- Moorish Scheherazades
I had an interesting chat (ie I listened) with someone the other night about the social position of musicians in the
A new one to me: chav is British English for “a young working class person who dresses in casual sports clothing”
- Are the Spanish media really obsessed with Israel?
John Chappell links to an old piece from the Stephen Roth Institute in Tel Aviv which claims among other things that
- Casanova warns Spanish authorities re sexual mores of “Swiss” immigrants to Sierra Morena, plus the etymology and origins of flamenco, and other items of interest
One of the many etymologies of flamenco is rather curious. From the typically poor Spanish-language entry in Wikipedia: Durante el siglo
- Guiris and Phoenicians
“And as we find in a book of laws called Digesto that city used to be called Guiris because it was