Is Columbus an anal retentive?|
Ezequiel: In English his name is Christopher Columbus, in Spanish he is called Cristobal Colon. My question... does the word "colony", as in American colonies (or in colonias in Spanish) come from "colon?". Also, if he is called Colon in Spanish, why is Colombia not called Colonia?
Terry O'Connor: The English "colon" as in part of the intestine comes from the Greek "kolon" meaning food; the name of the punctuation mark comes from the same Greek word, but with the earlier meaning of "limb". This was used to mean "foot" as in a unit of verse, and eventually to the mark setting of that unit. Colony comes from an Indo-European word meaning "to move around". The same word gave us "cycle" and "wheel". This evolved in Latin to "colere" meaning "inhabit" and then to "colonus" meaning one who settles and "colonia" meaning the land that was settled. As to the Spanish link, who knows?
Aris Efthimides: From what I gather, Columbus' Italian name was Cristoforo Colombo, but it was translated into Spanish as Cristóbal Colón. Why? Tradition, I guess.
f.ojeda: It's not very likely that Italian "Colombo" evolves into Spanish "Colón". In Catalonia "Colom" is a very common name, so some local historians think Columbus was Catalan. In fact, it's more likely to think that the true name of the discoverer was a dialectal Genovese form "Colomb" or "Colom" which has naturally evolved into Spanish "Colón". One must add that Italian dialects differ very much from Standard Italian.
Tom Fox: In researching the family of Alexander Columbus, supposedly a great-great-great-great-grandson of Christopher, I read that the French version of Alexander's name is Columbe or Colombe. This could also have been true of Christopher.
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