Saturday, 13 December 2014

13th Lexember Word

buzi /buzi/, noun: “candle; spark plug”

I must admit I like skeptical candle’s style :P.

Today’s word is a borrowing from French bougie, which may explain its weird secondary meaning (and yes, the French word does mean both “candle” and “spark plug”. In fact, it was borrowed in other languages, like Dutch and Modern Greek, in its meaning of “spark plug” only). Buzi is simply the closest approximation of the French /buˈʒi/ that Moten phonology allows.

As for why a borrowing, don’t forget that the only known native Moten speaker has been suffering from amnesia since he was a child. There’s bound to be some holes in his vocabulary (as an alternative, it could also be that Moten culture simply doesn’t have candles. They might prefer oil lamps themselves. Who knows?). When such holes appear, what he and I usually do is either try to create a new word based on Moten stock, or simply borrow a word from another language (usually French, my native language). Which alternative happens is pretty much dependent on our fancy of the moment. There’s no rule :P.

So in this case, since I was on a roll with words related to light, I decided having a word for “candle” was the next natural step, and making it a borrowing from French seemed like the right thing to do :).


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