It might be a little stereotypical, bagels are definitely Jewish, at least by origin. The word entered English in 1919 as Germans entered America: it was originally the Yiddish word beygl, with the current definition. This is from Middle High German, the forefather of both Yiddish and German, and where the word was boug, which meant "ring" or "bracelet"; the correlation is clear. Boug is from the Old German cognate boug, which derived from Proto-Germanic baugaz, specifically meaning a "ring", which is reconstructed as being from the Proto-Indo-European root bheug, or "to bend", since a circular "ring" had to be "bent" into shape. Fun fact: an alternative British English spelling of bagel is beigel, though usage is decreasing. This happened naturally as separate cultures developed and is not intentionally modified. However, this spelling is unique to Great Britain and remains nine hundred times less prevalent than what we know as bagel. There are approximately 150 people with the last name "bagel" in the United States.
4/30/2017 11:34:57 pm
I ate half of a bagel the other day. It was smack.
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Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic. This year, I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government and Linguistics. There, I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society and wrote a thesis on Serbo-Croatian language policy, magna cum laude. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.