Breathtaking Beyoğlu 1481–1512


folk etymology of Beyoğlu. 

I always thought Beyoğlu, the name of a section of Istanbul, was ‘son of the bey,’ but apparently that’s a folk etymology. 


According to the prevailing theory, the Turkish name of Pera, Beyoğlu, is a modification by folk etymology of the Venetian ambassadorial title of Bailo, whose palazzo was the most grandiose structure in this quarter. The informal Turkish-language title Bey Oğlu (literally Son of a Bey) was originally used by the Ottoman Turks to describe Lodovico Gritti, Istanbul-born son of Andrea Gritti, who was the Venetian Bailo in Istanbul during the reign of Sultan Bayezid II (r. 1481–1512) and was later elected Doge of Venice in 1523.

bailiff – the ol’ bailey

And if we follow that Bailo link, we learn:

Bailo or baylo (plural baili or bayli) is a Venetian title that derives from the Latin term baiulus, meaning “porter, bearer”. In English, it may be translated bailiff, or otherwise rendered as bailey, baili, bailie, bailli or baillie. The office of a bailo is a bailaggio (sometimes anglicised “bailate”). The term was transliterated into Greek as μπαΐουλος (baioulos), but Nicephorus Gregoras translated it ἐπίτροπος (epitropos, steward) or ἔφορος (ephoros, overseer).

Huh, thought I, “bailiff” looks suspiciously similar, and sure enough it too is from Latin bāiulus. So Beyoğlu = Bailiff!

#istanbul, #words

To mislead

Ffs. I’ve been searching for this word since 1pm today.


That is it.

It is misleading.


mommy and daddy

so intimidatingly different from English

In Africa, Swahili has mama and baba.
In the Philippines, Tagalog has nanay and tatay.
Fijian has nana and tata.
Mandarin soothes unexpectedly in offering up mama and baba.
Chechen in the Caucasus? Naana and daa.
Native American languages?
Eskimo has anana and ataata;
Koasati, spoken in Louisiana and Texas, turns out to have mamma and taata;
Down further in El Salvador, Pipil has naan and tatah.