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Quercus and Cork — is there any relationship to the etymology of cork and Quercus?
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b***@gmail.com
2017-12-02 04:27:00 UTC
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Of the five hundred or so different varieties of Oak trees, is there any relationship to the general etymology of Cork and Quercus? They sort of sound alike but this is prolly only in English eh?

The following two species are the only ones that have direct common name relationships to cork, Quercus suber — "cork oak" — southwestern Europe, northwestern Africa, and Quercus variabilis — Chinese cork oak — eastern Asia.

But what about all the other subgenus Quercus names?

Did the naming of Quercus start after the harvesting of cork or no relationship?
Jerry Friedman
2017-12-02 04:58:42 UTC
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Post by b***@gmail.com
Of the five hundred or so different varieties of Oak trees, is there any relationship to the general etymology of Cork and Quercus? They sort of sound alike but this is prolly only in English eh?
The following two species are the only ones that have direct common name relationships to cork, Quercus suber — "cork oak" — southwestern Europe, northwestern Africa, and Quercus variabilis — Chinese cork oak — eastern Asia.
But what about all the other subgenus Quercus names?
Did the naming of Quercus start after the harvesting of cork or no relationship?
There might be a relationship.

The OED says,

"Compare Spanish corcha, corche in same sense; but 15th cent. corke,
with 16th cent. Dutch kork , kurk , German kork , appears to represent
Old Spanish alcorque 'a corke shooe, a pantofle' (Minsheu), in which
sense corke is cited in 1463 (sense 2); compare also German korke
slipper (1595 in Grimm), and the earliest High German name for cork,
pantoffel- or pantofflenholz slipper-wood.

"The Spanish corche represents (directly or indirectly) Latin corticem
bark (in which sense Spanish now uses corteza < Latin corticea).
Alcorque, known in Spanish of date 1458, was immediately < Spanish
Arabic (Covarrubias 1611 has 'dicho en Arabigo corque'); but its origin
is uncertain; Dozy thinks it represents Latin quercus. If this be so,
then corque, and by implication cork, has no connection with Spanish
corcha, corche, or Latin cortex."

Etymonline is more concise:

'c. 1300, from Spanish alcorque "cork sole," probably from earlier
Spanish corcho, from Latin quercus "oak" (see Quercus) or cortex
(genitive corticis) "bark" (see corium).'
--
Jerry Friedman
b***@gmail.com
2017-12-03 04:07:55 UTC
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Post by b***@gmail.com
Of the five hundred or so different varieties of Oak trees, is there any relationship to the general etymology of Cork and Quercus? They sort of sound alike but this is prolly only in English eh?
The following two species are the only ones that have direct common name relationships to cork, Quercus suber — "cork oak" — southwestern Europe, northwestern Africa, and Quercus variabilis — Chinese cork oak — eastern Asia.
But what about all the other subgenus Quercus names?
Did the naming of Quercus start after the harvesting of cork or no relationship?
There might be a relationship.
The OED says,
"Compare Spanish corcha, corche in same sense; but 15th cent. corke,
with 16th cent. Dutch kork , kurk , German kork , appears to represent
Old Spanish alcorque 'a corke shooe, a pantofle' (Minsheu), in which
sense corke is cited in 1463 (sense 2); compare also German korke
slipper (1595 in Grimm), and the earliest High German name for cork,
pantoffel- or pantofflenholz slipper-wood.
"The Spanish corche represents (directly or indirectly) Latin corticem
bark (in which sense Spanish now uses corteza < Latin corticea).
Alcorque, known in Spanish of date 1458, was immediately < Spanish
Arabic (Covarrubias 1611 has 'dicho en Arabigo corque'); but its origin
is uncertain; Dozy thinks it represents Latin quercus. If this be so,
then corque, and by implication cork, has no connection with Spanish
corcha, corche, or Latin cortex."
'c. 1300, from Spanish alcorque "cork sole," probably from earlier
Spanish corcho, from Latin quercus "oak" (see Quercus) or cortex
(genitive corticis) "bark" (see corium).'
--
Jerry Friedman
Thanks for that. Was walking home and saw a big semicircular patch of bark missing from the bottom of a tree trunk where it enters the earth in a sidewalk excavation around it, and thought to myself what-the-hell kind of tree mutilation is going on here, and bent over, picked at the bark, and wondered about its cork like properties, and then somebody walking by asked me if it is was a "Quercus", and I thought they said "is that a "cork tree"', which I've always personally wondered about and furthermore thought that if there was such a tree it was anything but Oak, until this relavatory process and the discoverey that cork bark on this kind of tree can be safely scalped without it jeapordizing the health of the tree, and the rest is history.
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