Sunday, April 20, 2014

You Broke My Piggy Bank


Languages are enriched when they accept words from other languages. Sometimes the words are enunciated in their language a certain way, but when used in English with a different pronunciation.


You Broke My Piggy Bank

Eight-year-old, Suchi chased Soori with eyes flaring, screaming, "You broke my piggy-bank. Why did you touch it? Why did you throw it on the floor?"

Soori ran away from screaming Suchi and hid behind their older brother, sixteen-year-old, Sagar, who was working on a puzzle with their twelve-year-old sister, Sapna.

"Help me Bhaiya, she's going to kill me." Soori peeked from behind Sagar.

Sapna asked, "And why does she want to kill you?"

"I accidently broke her piggy bank."

Suchi dived to pull Soori's hair, "No, I saw you, you did it on purpose."

Sapna offered a beautiful orange jar to Suchi, "Here, this can be your new piggy bank."

"Orange? Whoever thought of an orange piggy bank?" Suchi asked.

Sagar laughed, "Well, girls, we were stuck with this puzzle anyway. I can tell you why an orange piggy bank and some more new words."

Soori came out from behind Sagar, "New words? In English?"

Sagar nodded, "New words with information about how they came about."

Soori grabbed Suchi's hand, "Come on Suchi, you've got a new piggybank jar, a nicer one even if it's orange."

They both sat on Sagar's bed, Sapna sat by them. Sagar pulled a chair and wrapped his arms around the chair, "Well, a long time ago they used a dense orange colored clay called pygg to make pots, dishes, jars and such. They used those 'pygg jars' to collect coins. An English potter misunderstood the word and made a Piggy bank!"

Sapna said, "I know why they say 'love' for the score of zero in tennis."


"When tennis became popular in France the scoreboard showed a zero, which looked like an egg, 'l'oef' is egg in French. And 'l'oef' became 'love', nothing or zero in English!"

Sagar said, "I can tell you one more word in another game, in golf." 

"Oh, yeah?"

"Oh, yes. In Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots liked to play golf. As a young girl, she went to France and King Louis built the first golf course outside of Scotland for her. He hired cadets from a French military school to guard her. She liked the idea of the cadet helpers and guards and when she went back to Scotland, she decided to hire some young men to help on the golf course. In French Cadet is enunciated as "Ca-day, which became "Caddie" in Scotland and then all over the world.

Suchi said, "Bhaiya, why don't you just say a cadet is called a ca-day in French and just stop there."

"Yeah, Bhaiya, you give too much info. We are out of here. Let's put your money in the new piggy-jar, Suchi." 

Hand-in-hand the twins left for their own room.

Sapna looked at Sagar and shrugged. Sagar did the same and they went back to their game.


© 2014, Meera Desai Shah

No comments:

Post a Comment