1. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Dear all,

    I think that the word "cubby" is typically a small square space for each child at school to store their belongings, and usually there're many of them lined up straight at the back of the classroom or the school entrance.

    Is "cubby" originated from cupboard or something?

    I would appreciate any comments.
     
  2. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    >>Is "cubby" originated from cupboard or something?

    I don't think so. I think it comes from German. Would you like this thread moved to the Etymology forum?
     
  3. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you very much, Beryl, for your kind suggestion!
    Please do so. Etymology Forum is new to me. :)
     
  4. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    Thread moved to EHL.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  5. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    The only thing I'm fairly sure of is that cubby is short for cubbyhole - in fact, I am pretty confident that the latter is still more common in AmE than the shorter form. The Online Etymology Dictionary mentions three theories as to the origin of cubbyhole:
    1. It could come from the Old German word "cub," which means "stall, pen, cattle shed, coop, hutch."
    2. It might be related to cuddy, which apparently came from French through Dutch and meant "small cabin in a boat."
    3. It might be a "children's made-up word."

    Take your pick!
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  6. ancalimon Senior Member

    Istanbul
    Turkish
    Could it be from the word "cup" which is probably some ancient universal word.

    For example, in Turkish one of the meanings of "kap" is "to shut in " to jam in".

    You pour liquid into a cup in order to prevent it from spilling. The cup makes the liquid shut in.
     
  7. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you very much, JustKate and ancalimon!!
     
  8. Kevin Beach

    Kevin Beach Senior Member

    Perhaps it's an abbreviation/diminutive of cupboard. After all, a cubby(hole) performs the same function as a cupboard but on a smaller scale. If so, then it's distinctively BrE, but no doubt it has travelled.
     
  9. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    So you suggest that "cup" in English has Turkish origins?
    See this: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=cup&searchmode=none
     
  10. ancalimon Senior Member

    Istanbul
    Turkish
    No. I think they both have common origins. Cup in Turkic is a well established word. Since it's extremely improbable that cup in English comes from Turkish, I think they most probably share a common ancestor.

    Besides, Etymonline also shows the word keup meaning hollow as the origin and that word also is in Turkic languages. "Kof" which means hollow.
     
  11. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    What common ancestor could it be?
     
  12. ancalimon Senior Member

    Istanbul
    Turkish
    Some language spoken before Proto-Turkic and PIE.
     
  13. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    Such language is unknown to linguists. If you think about Nostratic, then it is a hypothesis with a very limited acknowledgement. All theories about such languages are impossible to prove, as there is not enough material to work on.
     
  14. sotos Senior Member

    Greek
    Is it my idea or is it a britanised "cubicle"<L. cubiculum<Gr. κύβος, in other words a cube ?
     
  15. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you very much for all!!
     

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