What Do Zero Essay

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What do zero, a giraffe, and alcohol have in common? Not much, other than all these words originate from Arabic, and are part of the huge heritage of language and knowledge that Europe has absorbed from the Arabs over the centuries. * SERENDIPITY Serendipity comes from Serendip, the Arabic name for Sri Lanka where people are famously happy. It was introduced by Horace Walpole in 1754 in his fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip. The Arabic name was taken from the Sanskrit name for Sri Lanka: Suvarnadweep * MUFTI Mufti is used in English to describe casual clothes by people out of uniform. the word came into English via the British army in the 1800s, when off-duty officers wore Eastern style dressing gowns and tasseled caps, which looked like those worn by a mufti, an islamic legal scholar. * LOOFAH Describes a dry fibrous back-scrubber used in the bath. the word came into English in 1706 as a botanical description of the luffa plant, which produced a large marrow-like fruit with a fibrous skeleton, which was dried. in the 1800s it became the loofah, used by bathers. * JAR As you dig into your honey jar, it is bizarre to know that such a common English word comes from the Arabic jarra, which means a large earthenware container made of pottery. The first records in English come from 1418 and 1421 for olive oil containers. * SASH Sash is the strip of cloth worn over one shoulder. it comes from the Arabic shash, meaning a ribbon of gauze or textile which was wrapped around a head to form a turban, usually made of muslin. in modern Arabic shash means gauze or muslin. * REAM Ream is a measure of a quantity of sheets of paper. it comes from the Arabic rizma, meaning bale or bundle, and the word arrived with the introduction of paper itself from the arab world in the 1100s

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