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St. Paddy’s day … Color que tiene la nieve, or an expression 17th of March, 2006 POST·MERIDIEM 01:54

Happy St. Patrick’s day, world! As so often before, Mrs. Tilton has the celebratory details other places don’t; this year, a pointer to a Beckett play, “not entirely mercifully undense”, and some happily insane comics. See http://​www.​6thinternational.​org/​2006/​03/​dye_the_beer_mo.​html

It is to my mild shock that I learn from the Real Academia Española that blanco, bianco, and indeed blanche are all derived from “blank.” Of course, the meaning of the word in Germanic has changed in the millennium and a half or so since it was borrowed—probably part of the same overall shift in colour terms that resulted in “bleach” and “black,” more or less antonyms in modern usage, having a single root. But still; about as unexpected as the [qazr] in Iraq’s single deep water port, أم قصر, being related to the “caster” of Lancaster.

Word of the day: Касалхона is Tajik for “hospital”; it’s closer to German’s „Krankenhaus“ in its construction, meaning as it does “sick house.”

Wow, that Qasr thing is cool in all sorts of ways.

Yeah, I like it—the world has been historically more integrated than you would think.

I came across the link between the two placenames in The Spectator, but it seems to have disappeared from their archives and from their search engine. This Usenet message mentions the root of the Arabic word; the first OED entry for "chester" describes the English.

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