Friday, January 14, 2011


Klatsch \KLAHCH\ , noun;
1. A casual gathering of people, especially for refreshments and informal conversation

This word in German means "gossip" because it is onomatopoeic to hand clapping. So klatschen means "clap hands" and klatsch means "a single clap of the hands". Use in English with the current definition is first attested in 1953. It probably entered the language in part because of an earlier borrowing of kaffeeklatsch, which means "gossip over cups of coffee" (kaffee + klatsch is "coffee" + "gossip"). This word entered the language in 1888.

Mmm, coffee... I love it. Interestingly, it's kind of hard to pinpoint the etymology of this word for a dark and tasty breakfast beverage. European languages basically use the same word with spelling variations to fit the different rules and phonologies. Coffee (and café, koffie, kaffe, etc.) comes from Turkish kahveh, which is a borrowing from Arabic qahwah. Where qahwah came from is where the issue lies. Arab lexicographers say it is derived from qahiya ("to have no appetite") and originally meant "wine" or some kind of wine. Others posit that it is a disguised foreign word, probably African, possibly connected to Ethiopian province Kaffa, coffee's native home.
If I had to guess I'd say that when coffee was gaining popularity in the Arab world in the 1400's it was referred to as a special 'brewed drink' ("wine"?) from this far-away place called Kaffa. Time passes, language changes, eventually Kaffa wine becomes shortened to Kaffa which evolves into qahwah. Just my opinion though, so don't quote me on that. Unless it's brilliant, then tell everyone.

Today's word and the first definition were both taken from's 'Word of the Day' for Friday, January 14
Etymologies come from the Oxford English Dictionary and/or

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