Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Linguistic Curiosities – Olé – Wadi

O Allah ==> Ojala (Spanish exclamation of surprise/approval) ==> Olé (bullring chant)


The Guadalquivir river Spain is the best navigable river in Spain.

The name comes from the Arabic al-wādi al-kabīr (الوادي الكبير), which means The Great River/Valley/Canyon.

Now, think of Guadalajara (in Castile, Spain; and later Mexico) (wādī al-hidjārah), which means “river of stones

Guadalcanal, in Seville Spain comes from an Arabic word,(wādī al-Qanal), meaning “river of refreshment stalls”

The root of all this comes from the Arabic word Wadi, which means intermittant riverbed, or valley.

The Spanish word for river is rio, which is of Indo-European origin; but the root Guada– is how the Spanish pronounced the Arabic wadi.

This term Guada– is now found in Mexico (Guadalajara) and even in the Solomon Islands, where an island (Guadalcanal) was the site of a famous WWII battle. The island was named after a river in Castile, Spain, which was originally named by the Arabs.