etymology - Origin of "milady"

23
2014-07
  • Rikon

    Until a few months ago, I had always assumed this was "my lady". Is this anything more than an odd contraction of "my lady"? I couldn't find much on the etymology of this.

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    etymology - Origins of the word "mother"
  • Mike Chamberlain

    Apologies in advance for this question being only indirectly related to the English language, but I find it fascinating.

    I note with interest that the English words "mother" and "mama" have similar sounding equivalents in almost all languages, even those that appear to have no historical recent relationship.

    http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/mother-in-different-languages.html

    Not even mentioned in that link is the Mandarin word "māmā", a language I always assumed had no relationship with English whatsoever.

    This suggests to me that "mother" / "mama" could be one of the oldest surviving words, belonging to some lost parent language from which most modern languages derive.

    My questions are:

    1. Is this theory remotely plausible, or just fanciful thinking on my part?
    2. Are there any other "universal" words like this? (Could "OK" be considered such?)

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