Zaćmienie / The darkening

I learnt a new Persian word  yesterday a couple days before: آفتاب گرفتگی [aftab gereftegi] which means ‘solar eclipse’ and immediately a following chain of thoughts and associations was launched:

It’s quite funny how the words for “eclipse” in Persian, English and Polish differ in what do they originally/etymologically mean. آفتاب گرفتگی would translate literally as sth like “the taking of the Sun”, while English “eclipse” originally meant sth like “failure to appear in usual place; cessation of existence”. The Polish word for that, “zaćmienie” means literally “the darkening over”. So three different approaches, three different metaphores.

The meanings of the root of the Polish word are also interesting: the root “ćma” in modern Polish usually means “moth” but its earlier meanings of “darkness” (now we say “ciemność” for that sense) and “a crowd; a mulititude of people/objects” are recognisable for any educated speakers.

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