Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Etymology of Yarmulke

After much research I finally finished the first part of the the study of yarmulke. It is posted as part of my Librarian's Lobby column for August. It is double the length of my usual column and includes 17 footnotes.

It is hard to believe that this is my 100th column. Please spread the word.
Use this link to read the article: http://home.earthlink.net/~ddstuhlman/crc100.pdf

The additional parts will appear in the coming months. Since this month is the start of the school year and next month starts Elul, I can't promise when they will be done.

In the research and preparation process I had many discussions with people at shul. For some without an understanding of linguistics or history they are quick to quote what they were taught as a child. The type of head covering one wears today is related closely to the message you want to give to the people around you. If you wear a big black hat the message is different than a kippah with your favorite sports team.

Whenever I research a Yiddish word that does not come from Germanic or Hebrew roots there is always an interesting story. The next word people have asked me to search is "parve."

1 comment:

DLC said...

Interesting article about yarmulke. I've thought of writing about it myself - if I ever do, I'll be sure to reference your work.

I don't think kippa and cappa are related. I wrote about kippa here:


and Kutscher discusses cappa twice here

There might be some ancient common usage of a k/g sound followed by a p/b sound meaning "hill", but that's hard to prove.

By the way, I wrote about pareve as well - maybe that can help your next article.

Looking forward to it,

Dave (Balashon)