Date: Sun, 3 Dec 1995 18:26:18 -0500

From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU

Subject: Re: /w/ and /hw/


Of course you are right. Perhaps some of us slipped into saying 'derived

from' when we meant 'cognate with.'

Now we know the source of the 'wh'; a very late analogy, but I'm still not

sure about the vowel. I take your citation to be of 'hore' with a long

vowel(?) If so, it should be ModEng [u] as I have heard it in Northern

American use. Why is the majority usage [o]?


If English whore derives from Latin karus , it must be as a loan-

word, much too late for Grimm's Law. So then it should be *core , which it

ain't. So much for armchair etymologizing. In such questions, my sainted

OE professor, Rudolph Willard, used to repair to the OED, which informs us

that OE had hore (possibly derived from ON), and that the wh spelling is

a 16-th century refinement (I would guess on the model of whole ). But any

connection with a Latin /k/ would have to be at a pre-Latin level, not a

direct borrowing.

--Rudy Troike (back in the fray again!)