Word of the Day

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cellars, beerhouses, and stores

There is some overlap of meaning among a couple of languages as to the meaning of pivnica, piwnica, pivnice, pivniță, and sklep. In Polish, Slovak, and Romanian, a Romance language with considerable Slavic vocabulary, we find piwnica, pivnica, and pivniță, respectivelly, all meaning cellar. A Czech pivnice is a beerhouse, a pub, a tavern, an alehouse, close to the meaning of Slavic pivo, beer. In Polish and outdated colloquial Slovak, using the words of my go-to Slovak dictionary, a sklep is a store, but in Czech a sklep is a cellar or a basement.

Slovak sklep can have genitive singular sklepa, like Czech, or sklepu, like Polish.

The fact that beer can be stored in a cellar and that stores/shops are places where things are kept in great numbers may have something to do with it

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