The word farce was first attested in the English language in a 1390 cookbook, where it was spelled fars and meant "stuffing". Then, by the early sixteenth century, it became a thing in French theatre to insert comic interludes in dramatic plays. This was thought to be a sort of cinematic "stuffing", and eventually those comic interludes took on a life of their own and the word came to refer to any comedic work with crude exaggerations. The word traces to the Old French verb farcir, which meant "to stuff" and was borrowed in the thirteenth century from Latin farcire, also meaning "stuff" or "cram". That, through Proto-Italic farkjo, is eventually derived from the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction brek, meaning "cram together" (also thought by some etymologists to be the source of the word frequent, with the connection being the idea of short intervals being crammed together).
A carmagnole is a type of song and street dance popular during the French Revolution, and when I first looked up the word, I was pretty sure it would somehow be related to the Latin word carmen, meaning "song". However, I was very mistaken. The word comes from the title of a specific song, La Carmagnole, first sung by the revolutionary sans-culottes in August 1792. The name was a reference to a type of short jacket that was popular at the time among the lower classes. That comes from the name of an Italian town, Carmagnola, because it was associated with the Piedmontese peasants who brought over the fashion. I couldn't find any more details on the town's toponymy, but there is a well-known sculpture of Roman Emperor Justinian's head in Venice called Carmagnola because the artist was from the city and there's also a strain of industrial hemp from northern Italy called Carmagnola.
The berry part of the word cranberry is obvious, but what in the world is a cran? We can trace the archaic prefix back to the noun's first usage in 1672, when it referred to the North American plant. It seems that the colonists had some German influence, because they named it after a similar plant in central Europe that was called kraanbere in Low German. The kraan part of that meant "crane" like the bird, possibly due to a perceived resemblance between the plant's stamens and the beaks of cranes, although that's unsure. The word, which is a cognate of English crane, derives from Proto-Germanic krano (still "crane") and eventually the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction gerh, meaning "to cry hoarsely". Bere, which is likewise related to English berry, probably derives from Proto-Indo-European beh, meaning "shine" or "glisten". Looking at Google Trends, search frequency for cranberry consistently peaks every November, which is unsurprising but still interesting to me.
I recently learned that there is a phenomenon of the letter d in Ancient Greek sometimes becoming l in Latin. Here are some examples of this:
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.