Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Good news for "us knitters"...

Top Fashion from Iceland:
The good old "LOPAPEYSA"
made from lopi, the unique Icelandic wool.
More information in these links:
The Lopi Sweater

The word "peysa" for jumper or sweater actually has a funny story behind it:
When French-speaking sailors/fishermen came to Icelandic shores centuries ago they used to do some
merchandising with the inhabitants. As they were often freezing in the cold climate, they liked to buy some warm garments from the farmers, made from the warm wool from sturdy Icelandic sheep. From there derived a misunderstanding on the part of the farmers; when the foreigners pointed at them saying the word "paysan", which means farmer in French, the Icelanders thought they meant the thick woollen jumpers they were wearing, wanting to buy them. Gradually they started calling the garment by the French word, and today it´s not a slangword from French, but a proper Icelandic word!
This is a good example of how language developes.
(Hmm, actually the same was the case with "mademoiselle", the word the sailors used for the pretty Icelandic girls, "young ladies" they met here. The jealous Icelandic males were quick to twist and abbreviate that to "mella" , which has quite another and negative meaning, that´s to say "whore". What a typical negative male reaction!)

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