Friday, April 9, 2010

Shrek! - The Cartoon Ogre

Today, a clue for  21-across in the NY Times crossword puzzle is  "the creator of "Shrek!" .  Shrek is a character created by  William Steig (1907-2003)  in his children's book with an eponymous (From Ancient Greek ἐπώνυμος (epōnumos) from ἐπί (epi), “‘upon’”) + ὄνυμα (onuma), Aeolic variant of ὄνομα (onoma), “‘name’”)  title.  Shrek is an ogre.  

The name "Shrek" is derived from the German and Yiddish word "Schreck"/"Shreck", literally meaning "fear, terror.  There are several Yiddish words of German origin ending -eck.  A famous one is  dreck meaning crap or worthless.  Leck, shmeck - (Done superficially (lick, smell)).  In Yiddish, endings like -ek or -ik (which may not be of German origin) can be used as suffixes to make nouns from adjectives (and also vice versa  From Latin "the other way around", "conversely" )  similar to the English use of -ly.  (From Old English -līċ, from Proto-Germanic *-līko- (“‘having the body or form of’”), from *līkom (“‘body’”) (whence lich). Cognate with Dutch -lijk, German -lich and Swedish -lig.).

An example is  milkhik (milky),  nudnik: a pest, (from Polish nudne, boring)  zaftig or zaftik - plump (from saft-ig , juice- y) .    That's today's world play.   :)

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