Calque

Maroseika

Moderator
Russian
I would like to find out etymology of this word - calque (tracing paper).
Some dictionaries explain it as deriving from Latin calx - heel, and compare it with Spanish calcar - to trample and similar.
Others also derive calque from Latin calx but meaning lime.
Both versions seem to me rather strange, because replication with the calque does not resemble anything connected with pressing, trampling, etc., and it also has nothing to do with rubbing something into something (like stopping up chinks of the vessel with lime).

I have very raw version of originating calque from French calicot/calencar - kind of fabric (calico), used for making copies - calqueing - long before the tracing paper has been invented. Even in the end of the 19th century, according to my sources (Spoon, "Workshop Receipts") , tracing paper was mostly made by thedesigners by dint of impregnating flimsy (cigarette) paper with boiled nut oil and some other ingridients.

French calicot originates from Persian kalamkar, or maybe town of Calcutta<Kalicut<Kozhikode, from where it was imported.
"Calico calque" unlike "paper calque" was widely spread at least since 18 cent., though it was not very easy to use it too:
very thin calico is spread with boan-coal-filtered solution of shellac, mastic and Venice turpentine in spirit and ether; then glossy side of the calico is rubbed with chalk and calico is tightly strecthed on the frame, because when painting it could buckle.

Therefore originating calque from calico seems to me more likely.
What's your opinion?
 
  • Lugubert

    Senior Member
    I would like to find out etymology of this word - calque (tracing paper).
    Some dictionaries explain it as deriving from Latin calx - heel, and compare it with Spanish calcar - to trample and similar.
    Others also derive calque from Latin calx but meaning lime.
    Both versions seem to me rather strange, because replication with the calque does not resemble anything connected with pressing, trampling, etc.
    If you tread on something soft, you make an impression. The heel mark will normally be more visible than the imprint of your toes. My Swedish etymology dictionary (on Sw. vb. kalkera; kalkerpapper = 'tracing-paper, carbon paper') refers to Franch calquer from Italian calcare, impress, trample. Latin calx also means heel.
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    If you tread on something soft, you make an impression. The heel mark will normally be more visible than the imprint of your toes. My Swedish etymology dictionary (on Sw. vb. kalkera; kalkerpapper = 'tracing-paper, carbon paper') refers to Franch calquer from Italian calcare, impress, trample. Latin calx also means heel.
    Well, but when you copy a draft or a sketch or a painting you should not impres, should you?
    There's the rub!
    If calque really derives from Latin heel, what kind of process was called 'calcare' originally?
    And why Latin calx mean heel and lime? Are they just the occasional homonyms, or these two words are tied much deeper?
     
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