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“Parasol,” a Word That Found a Home in Many European Languages

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Marta, who studies English in Kyiv, Ukraine, says she was reading Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (Bookshop|Amazon) when she encountered the word parasol, noting its similarity to a Ukrainian word for “umbrella,” парасоля. Both stem from the same ancient root, although the English term now refers to a fashionable item that protects from the sun, while the Ukranian one refers to something used to protect against the rain. Given the widespread influence of French culture on fashion, the French word parasol likely influenced the use of similar-sounding words in Polish, German, Spanish, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, and other languages. This is part of a complete episode.

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