It may please some of my readers to learn that the word  whore  and the name  Cher  are etymologically related. But how?

Word of the Day The first thing we need to clear out of the way is that  at the beginning of  whore.  It doesn’t belong there. It’s orthographic kudzu. It’s linguistic wisteria. It’s a parasite. People in the late Middle Ages no longer pronounced the  in words like  who and  whose,  so they ended up putting it in print where it had never been before, to begin words that should have begun with  ho or  hu.  The Anglo Saxon word is  hure  (German  Hure,  in pristine condition).

The next thing to do is to apply Grimm’s Law. Yes, it’s the Grimm of the Fairy Tales. The Law says: Thou shalt not enter a gingerbread house. Actually, it doesn’t say that. It is a law associating consonants in the Germanic languages with consonants in Proto Indo European, which was the language that Proto Indo Europeans spoke. We’ll meet up with this Law often in these pages. Here, the Law tells us, if we have a Germanic word beginning with  h,  to look for a Latin or Greek word beginning with  c (k).  Now, is there a Latin word having to do with, er, um,  love,  that begins with  c,  followed by a back-of-the-mouth vowel ( u, o, aw ), followed by an  r?  Indeed:  cara,  feminine of  carus, dear, beloved.  From that word and its relatives we get, filtered through French, our English  charity.  We also get the French  cher, chere, dear, beloved.  Q. E. D.

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