Re: Plants with funny names (was Re: Dieffenbachia seguine)
- Subject: Re: Plants with funny names (was Re: Dieffenbachia seguine)
- From: "John Criswick" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2016 17:01:20 -0700
Yes I certainly remember bringing this name seguine up before. Not that anything conclusive resulted.
You have made a good point with Maple. However, in Grenada today, or at least in the 70s (everything is changing), the name “siggin” referred also to Monstera obliqua, which is/was fed to pigs. Therefore one is tempted to conclude that “siggin” means “aroid” although the name s never applied to Colocasia or Xanthosoma, two edible cultivated aroids.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Jason Hernandez
Sent: Sunday, July 10, 2016 2:02 AM
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Plants with funny names (was Re: Dieffenbachia seguine)
" I may not have fully understood if it was being suggested they might be the same thing/plant/drink."
No. I was giving them as two different examples of plants whose Native American names were adopted by white settlers who had no name of their own for the plant.
Now, re: seguin. The Arawak language of the Caribbean is lost, except for a partial word list compiled from Spanish colonial records. If it should be that seguin was borrowed from that language, it may not be possible to find out what it meant -- if, indeed, it ever meant anything other than that particular kind of plant. I have to add that last caveat because, well, asking what a plant common name means is rather like asking what the word "maple" means. It may be an understandable question for someone from a country where maples do not grow, but the only answer is that "maple" means that particular kind of tree. It has no other meaning.
Okay, I was pretty sure this subject had been discussed before, but now that I search the Aroid-L archives, I can't find it.
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