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Tricky Words in today's OVI

Pridané: 11.06.2007
Kategória: 23/2007

The word "mascot" is not very tricky, because it has similar form and meaning in Slovak and many other languages, so it is an international word - but why is a thing, an animal or a person that is meant to bring luck called a mascot? The origin of this word is interesting. The south-east region of France is called Provence, and it's distinctive because of its Mediterranean atmosphere, food and drink specialities, and its own dialect called Provençal (provonsál).

It's a hilly area with slopes covered in low, thorny, scrub bushes called "maquis" (also in Corsica), which was also the name for the French resistance against the Nazi occupation of France during the Second World War. The Provençal word for a witch is "masco", and the diminutive form is "mascotte" (a little witch), and the association with good luck was established in a French opera by E. Audran (1890) called "La Mascotte". So mascot is the English form of this Provençal word.



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