Two Norwegian Words: HLID and KNIFR

Do you solve crossword puzzles?  To me it is a welcome 15-minute jogging-for-the-mind in the morning.  It’s both challenging and educational; I’ve learned many words while doing this form of mental exercise.  As you fill in the horizontal squares, for example, some words you might not know start forming on the vertical spaces.

The word LID captured my attention today.  Its clue called for a three-letter word for “can cover.”  After writing niece for  “female relative”  in a nearby horizontal area, I easily came up with lid as the answer for “can cover.”

Lid also means “a removable or hinged cover for closing the top opening of a pot, jar, trunk, or other container.”  The word came into use around the year 1000 A.D.  It’s traceable to the Old English hlid, which has the same origin as the Dutch and German lid, and Old Norse hlith, meaning “gateway.”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Old Norse was a language spoken around the 9th to the 13th centuries by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements.  The areas covered are modern Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland.

In Pilipino, our word TAKIP means more than lid; it has a wider application, as in cover. A survey of Austronesian languages, to which Pilipino is related, reveals no obvious connection; note tutup in Indonesian and Javanese, and tudung in Malay.   The Maori word taupoki seems closer to our takip… but that’s for a linguistics expert to settle.

KNIFE is another culinary term of Norwegian origin.  The online etymology dictionary defines the noun knife as a “handheld instrument consisting of a short blade and handle.”  The same source says that the word is from the Old English cnif, which is probably from the Old Norse knifr.  I find it interesting that the modern word seems to be closer to the older source.

Our word KUTSILYO is derived from the Spanish cuchillo;  this is a footprint of the colonization of our country.

Question:  why do we use the Pilipin-ized version of the Spanish term, when our Malay and Indonesian brothers (with whom we share a longer history) refer to knife as pisau?

Blogger Jessie Grace U. Robrico writes in 
that Pigafetta, who travelled with Magellan to Limasawa and Cebu, made a list of local terms for various objects.  Among the words in his list are two Old Cebuano words for knife:   capol and sundan .

In another site  (, a Cebuano blogger notes that Pigafetta described a bladed weapon — now called a kampilan — which LapuLapu was said to have carried.

The photo below shows a kampilan and a shorter weapon called a kalis.