Sunday, 23 December 2012

Keeping the Christmas Turkey Safe

I had a problem with the turkey the other day.

I bought a lovely turkey crown for our Christmas celebrations and was well pleased with it. The only trouble was that upon returning home I noticed that the sell by date ('Te Gebruiken tot…') was marked as BEFORE Christmas day! Doh…

As I was inspecting the packaging to see if I was somehow mistaken I also noticed 'Koel bewaren' and noticed the similarity of bewaren to beware in English.

Related? I investigated.

bewaren : keep, save, preserve, conserve, guard.

beware : be cautious and alert to the dangers of.

Not exactly the same but deserves more looking into.

English etymology:
(from wary) 1550s, from O.E. wær "prudent, aware, alert, wary," from P.Gmc. *waraz (cf. O.N. varr "attentive," Goth. wars "cautious," O.S. giwar, M.Du. gheware, O.H.G. giwar, Ger. gewahr "aware"), from PIE root *wer- "to cover" (see weir). Related: Warily; wariness.

Dutch etymology:
Onl. beuuarun ‘het oog houden op’ [10e eeuw; W.Ps.]; mnl. bewaren ‘letten op, beschermen, handhaven’

('keep an eye on' [10th century]; Keep 'watch, protect, enforce')

This brings these two words more in line and with even more searching I find that, just as in English, bewaren in Dutch is made up from two words. In Dutch 'waren' (cf. wary) which meant ‘zorgen voor, bewaken’ (care for, guard).

But beware! Although these two words have similar etymology they mean different things now. The process of investigating really helps me retain a word in my head, even if finally their meanings are not exactly the same.

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