This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Nuts and Bolts: Parma.

How do things get their names?

Well, Maria Luisa of Parma, Princess of the Asturias:

File:Maria Luisa de Parma1.jpg
painting by Anton Raphael Mengs

came from a family which ruled the town in Northern Italy called Parma.

Parma cathedral:

File:Duomo di parma, controfacciata.JPG
photo by sailko

has, obviously, always been stituated in the place.

But what of other things called Parma?

Parma ham has to come from the Parma area (there's a law that says so), and Parma violets:

File:Favourite flowers of garden and greenhouse (Pl. 32) (7789059768).jpg

were first discovered in Italy (though the odd little violet-flavoured sweets called Parma Violets:

are British).

 But what about the Parma wallaby?

Parma wallaby crop2.jpg
photo by Benjamint444

You don't see many wallabies lolloping around Italy, do you.

And, for that matter, what about the cheese?

What, you haven't heard of Parma cheese? But you've heard of Parmesan, and a Parmesan is a native or inhabitant (or cheese) of Parma.

Finally, there are the apples. The name of the red varieties of apples called pearmain, of which the Worcester Pearmain is probably the best known: 

Worcester parmän.jpg

come from the Old French permain, a type of pear, and the best guess is that this word comes from the Latin Parmēnsis, of Parma.

So: what's your best guess about how the wallaby got its name, then? 

Nuts and Bolts: Parma.  The city's name is Etruscan, and the Romans borrowed its name for a round shield. 

Parma is the Australian Aboriginal name for this species of wallaby.

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