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Summary Details


Query:   Etymology of 'Bikini Atoll'
Author:  Boyan Nikolaev
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   General Linguistics

Summary:   Regarding query http://linguistlist.org/issues/15/15-3550.html#1 Over the 10 days after posting this query I received comments and advice from the following six colleagues: - Mikael Parkvall, Sweden, who told me of a new, 4th, -kini word in Swedish; - Laurence Horn of Yale with a somewhat different hypothesis for the introduction of mono- instead of bi-; he also quoted a dictionary explanation and cross-posted my query to the American Dialect Society, where there are a number of etymologists and lexicographers who may have additional comments to send; - Nancy Fishberg, who mentioned some interesting literary sources for my subject; - Peter T. Daniels, who generally agrees with me; - Gordon Brown, interested in the subject; - Ghil?ad Zuckermann who was interested in the subject and offered some relevant Yiddish correlates of the ?kini words. I thank all who got in touch with me and who shared their know-how on the subject. However, no Marshallese connection was established and I still do not know for certain whether the bi- in bikini, by any off chance, came from the Latin bin, bis. While at this point we do not have the Marshallese etymology of the word bikini, I suggest that we do not close the current discussion. I think that any further response and contribution to the discussion about the possible Marshallese etymology of the word bikini should be welcome. The extension of this discussion should be the meaning of the proper name Bikini (as used in Bikini Atoll). Dr. Boyan Nikolaev Bulgaria

LL Issue: 16.22
Date Posted: 10-Jan-2005
Original Query: Read original query


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