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  1. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    The word albuquerque is of spanish origin, and is said to ultimately derive from the latin for white oak, but there is repeated allusion to the arabic language as an intermediate. Yet i can find no arabic word sounding like 'querq' meaning oak..قرق
    All have nothing to do with oak
  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    The Latin for "white oak" is alba quercus (or in reverse order: Quercus alba is a species name). No Arabic involved at all. I suppose some people would say to themselves, 'If it's Spanish and it begins with al- there must be Arabic in it.' But then you'd be looking for an Arabic word like *bukerk (which doesn't look very Arabic to me), and it could mean anything at all - nothing to do with oaks. I don't know which is the true origin of the name, but "white oak" fits nicely.
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Alburquerque (sic recte) is place name in Spain and, without the first r, also in New Mexico. The usual derivation from alba quercus is perhaps just a bit too neat. Besides, in a Latin derivative one does not really expect the intrusive –r- in the second syllable. Another possibility would be to connect it with Spanish albaricoque, from Arabic al-barqūq “apricot” (in Egypt: “plum”), from Latin praecocia, the source of the word for “apricot” in most European languages. In this case there would be an intrusive r in the third syllable. A third possibility is that it is from alba quercus, but contaminated with albaricoque.
  4. Hulalessar Senior Member

    English - England
    Are there any white oaks in Spain?
  5. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Quercus alba is the (modern) scientific name for the White Oak, which, I believe, is native to North America. The Spanish village of Alburquerque is noted for its production of cork, which comes from the quercus suber, or Cork Oak. If its name really derives from Latin alba quercus, then obviously not with reference to the tree now known by this scientific name, but to the Cork Oak, which, I believe, does have white or greyish bark.
  6. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    The bur of Alburquerque reminds me of robur (as in "roble"). The word really looks like a portmanteau or the result of competing folk etymologies.
  7. Hulalessar Senior Member

    English - England
    Whilst it is true that the Latin for "white oak" is alba quercus would not quercus alba be more likely? Since neither quercus nor alba have survived into modern Spanish (so far as I know) for the name to derive from those two words the place will have to have been established before the words dropped out of use, whenever that was.

    Wikipedia notes a possible alternative etymology from Arabic abu al-qurq meaning "father of the cork [oak]".

    Alburquerque is in an area where the cork oak is native and for the place (as opposed to anywhere else) to have been named after the tree or cork one would expect it either to have been either surrounded by an unusual number of the trees or a centre of cork production. Do we know if either is the case?
  8. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    As far as I can see, there is no such word as "qurq" in Arabic.
  9. CapnPrep Senior Member

    Possibly. There is also alburnum. But we wouldn't expect the Latin ŭ to be preserved in these words, except through learned influence (which would be kind of inconsistent with blending or folk etymology). But I guess just about anything is possible in placenames.
    The DRAE (s.v. alcorque "cork-soled shoe") mentions such a form in Spanish Arabic, from Aramaic qarqā or qurqā. The OED says the origin of the Spanish Arabic word is uncertain, possibly < Latin quercus.
  10. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    Meanwhile Merriam-Webster's Third International (etymology of Eng. ​cork) says
    Be grateful for the candor of "uncertain", "possibly", and "probably".

    P.S.: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language indicates a long vowel in "al-qūrq"—does that help?
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  11. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    What about Spanish "alba" (dawn), and "alba" (white in poetic language)?
  12. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I have looked into this some more. It is true that qurq does not exist in this meaning in classical Arabic. It is however used in Hispano-Arabic, North African dialects, and Maltese. Dozy, Suppl. aux dict. arabes II 334, glosses Hispano-Arabic قرق as “sandale avec la semelle de liége" [sic, modern spelling: liège] "(comme alcorque en esp.)”, and proceeds to derive it from Latin cortex (bark, cork) “qui est devenu en esp. corcho (…), proprement liége, et de là sandale avec la semelle de liége". Meyer-Lübke, Rom. etym. Wb. (at the moment I have only the 1st edition at hand) no. 6951, rejects the derivation of alcorque and corcho from cortex and derives them instead from quercus (oak). The fact that قرق is found only in Western, and not in Eastern Arabic suggests (I think) that it is derived directly from Latin (or some other Romance source), and not via Aramaic.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  13. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    Good work, fdb! Thanks! Corominas (Breve) attributes Sp. corcho to Mozarabic [Romance] corch or corcho, and this from Latin cŏrtex, cŏrtĭcis.
    If I remember correctly about Mozarabic, its role here may help to explain the ch affricate of corcho, as well as the failure to diphthongize (if cortex​ etc. is the source).
  14. HUMBERT0

    HUMBERT0 Senior Member

    ¿Que relación hay con Albunquerque?, yo siempre había creído que llevaba una ene, me es más fácil pronunciarlo así.
  15. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    This is what I was looking for!
    we can't be exactly sure how Albuquerque evolved, but the mentions of قرق in other etymologies and your find are of interest. Thank you.

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