v47: istapp

istapparIstapp (plural istappar) = icicle. Another Swedish word for icicle is ispigg (the SAOB definition of istapp is simply ispigg), where pigg = spike, quill, as discussed previously. So what about tapp?

As usual, here things get somewhat confusing. SAOB says tapp has a Germanic origin, meaning tapered. However, according to Oxford, taper is derived from the latin papyrus, and refers to the shape of a candle, the wicks of which were made from papyrus pith. Tapp also means tap, in the sense of the spout part of a tap; the whole appliance (faucet) is a kran. So you can see that they all seem to be linked together somehow.

The verb tappa tells you many things that can be done with a tapp, such as tappa upp ett bad, run a bath.

Etymology aside, other nice tapering thing is a molntapp, wisp of cloud.

But by far the most curious word on this page must be icicle, which is apparently derived from ice + ickle, where ickle is an English dialect word meaning icicle. Go figure! Or, beware of etymology:


Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 14:06  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You forgot to include the popular Christmas song “Midnatt råder”, also called “Tomtarnas julnatt” which includes the phrase “tipp tapp tipp tapp tippe tippe tipp tapp, tipp tipp tapp” 🙂 In that context it means the sound when santa is tripping over the floor. Search on youtube to hear it.

  2. Hej!
    So, “varning istappar” is like “rasrisk”? 🙂
    I’m Italian just emigrated to Sweden, and I’m struggling with the indigenous language.. I follow your blog and find it very fun and exciting.
    I have a question for you. Last week, walking in the wood for some km, I arrived in a very small village named ölsta
    (http://nelniflheimr.blogspot.com/2011/01/olsta.html). I asked myself if it means “beer’s village”, “village-island” or “island’s village”. I think the second one, but I’m not sure..
    Hej då!

    • According to Karin Calissendorf’s book Ortnamn i Uppland, it’s from the Old Swedish man’s name Ølaf or Ølef. See also http://sundveda.se/omforeningen.html

      • tack! tack!

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