Garland Of Oak-Leaves

Did you know all of these underlined words used to be Arabic? The NSA does. And so does!

Alcove: "From Arabic al-qobbah 'the vaulted chamber.' Al-qobbah from Semitic base q-b-b, 'to be bent, crooked, vaulted.'"

Algol: "From Arabic al-ghul 'the demon' (see ghoul). It corresponds, in modern representations of the constellation, to the gorgon's head Perseus is holding, but it probably was so called because it visibly varies in brightness every three days, which sets it apart from other bright stars. The computer language (1959) is a contraction of algo(rithmic) l(anguage); see algorithm."

Alchemy: "From Arabic al-kimiya, from Gk. khemeioa (found c.300 C.E. in a decree of Diocletian against 'the old writings of the Egyptians.')"

Alcohol: "From Arabic al-kuhul "kohl," the fine metallic powder used to darken the eyelids, from kahala "to stain, paint."

Alembic: "From Arabic al-anbiq "distilling flask," from Gk. ambix "cup," of unknown, possibly Semitic, origin."

Alkali: "From Arabic al-qili 'the ashes' (of saltwort, a plant growing in alkaline soils), from qala 'to roast in a pan.'"

Albuquerque: Must just be Latin.

Alfalfa: "1845, from Spanish alfalfa, earlier alfalfez, from Arabic al-fisfisa 'fresh fodder.'"

Algebra: "1550s, from M.L. algebra, from Arabic al jebr "reunion of broken parts. as in computation, used 9c. by Baghdad mathematician Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi as the title of his famous treatise on equations ("Kitab al-Jabr w'al-Muqabala" "Rules of Reintegration and Reduction"), which also introduced Arabic numerals to the West."

Albatross: "From Arabic al-ghattas 'sea eagle' [Barnhart]; or from Port. alcatruz 'the bucket of a water wheel' [OED], from Arabic al-qadus 'machine for drawing water, jar' (from Gk. kados 'jar'), in reference to the pelican's pouch (cf. Arabic saqqa "pelican," lit. 'water carrier')."

Read 'Em And Weep