A curious caravanserai of notoriety and nonsense, poetry and prophecy.

The Origin of Bananas

Who knew that ripe bananas fluoresce blue when exposed to ultraviolet light!?! This is caused by a fluorescent bioproduct of the chlorophyll degradation that happens as the plant ripens. Green bananas do not fluoresce…but they’re pretty darn good fried!

So Wikipedia attributes the origin of the word “banana” to the Wolof (west African language, spoken in modern Sénégal) word banaana, however I learned a different version of events from my Arabic tutor yesterday.

She explained that while the current word for finger in Arabic is asb’a3, the classical arabic word was banan. While the word for banana in modern Arabic is al-mauz, this is actually a plural word in Arabic.  The proper word for a single banana was banan al-mauz, or a finger of bananas. (For any Arabic students/grammar nerds out there, yes this is an idaafa).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: