Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Tangle Dance?

Tangled

It takes two to tangle? Or just one long one? (As in photo?)

Actually, the word is "tango," which is probably from the Niger-Congo language, according to the Online Etymological Dictionary (compare Ibibio tamgu, "to dance").

As for "tangle," it has an interesting history:
mid-14c., nasalized variant of tagilen "to involve in a difficult situation, entangle," from a Scandinavian source (compare dialectal Swedish taggla "to disorder," Old Norse ├żongull "seaweed"), from Proto-Germanic *thangul- (source also of Frisian tung, Dutch tang, German Tang "seaweed"); thus the original sense of the root evidently was "seaweed" as something that entangles (itself, or oars, or fishes, or nets).
Perhaps these two words can tango . . .

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