Chico ([tied] Re: Romance Pequeno, Pequeño [...])

From: m_iacomi
Message: 31789
Date: 2004-04-07

--- In, "Joao" wrote:

>> In principle yes, but the Portuguese equivalent "chico" `small`;
>> `flat (sea)`; `ancient coin of 40 centavos` is usually given from
>> Latin "ciccum" (or even Ital. "cico" `thing of little value` --
>> the It. actual word is "cica" and is rather rare, regional and
>> archaic - its origin is anyway related to the same Latin "ciccum"
>> `worthless object`, `trifle`). Semantics, phonetics and geography
>> (Catalan "xic") point towards this etymon.

> The shift ci- > chi - it's a feature of Aragonese, I think.

Lat. acernia > Port. cherne (It. cernia), or Lat. cimi:ce- > Port.
chinche would support that even in Portuguese one can have this
kind of evolution, though these words could be very well loaned
as in other cases (Port. chichisbéu < It. cicisbeo, Port. chinar <
Sp. chinar, Port. chitão < Sp. chiton, etc.). I am not familiar
with all details about Iberic dialects, maybe Miguel would be so
kind to give a more pertinent opinion (I would pick a Castillian
intermediate, but the same Latin etymon).

Marius Iacomi