Roughly seven millenia ago, people on the Eurasian steppes used the word peyk as a blanket noun to cover all kinds of noisy birds. One of the eventual derivatives of this word was the Latin term pica, which described the bird we now know as a magpie. This word took a step towards its current state when it became French pie, then English pie. Later, people added a nickname for Margaret, Mag, to the front of pie to create magpie. This happened because Margaret was colloquially considered to be the name of a talkative female chatterbox, and the bird chirps a lot, so the connection happened, odd as it is. Now let's go back for a moment to the Latin word pica, also "magpie". Since magpies eat whatever they can find, including rubbish, pica later got adopted as a scientific term for a disorder where one eats nonedibles. This habit of eating jumbled things also brought about the definition for the edible pie, because early pies were cooked with a myriad of jumbled meats beneath the crust. SO MANY CONNECTIONS. Now, appreciate the irony that pie comes from PIE.
5/31/2021 11:16:33 pm
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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.