Betelgeuse[bēt′'l jo̵̅o̅z′, bet′-]
Origin: French Bételgeuse ; from Arabic baytal-jauzāʾ, literally , house of the middle (of the sky)
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Origin: French Bételgeuse, ultimately from Arabic yad al-jawzā’ : yad, hand; see yd in Semitic roots + al-, the + jawzā’, Gemini (later also used for Orion); perhaps akin to jawz, center, middle.Word History: The history of the curious star name Betelgeuse is a good example of how scholarly errors can creep into language. The story starts with the pre-Islamic Arabic astronomers, who called the star yad al-jawzā’, “hand of the jawzā’.” The jawzā’ was their name for the constellation Gemini. After Greek astronomy became known to the Arabs, the word came to be applied to the constellation Orion as well. Some centuries later, when scribes writing in Medieval Latin tried to render the word, they misread the y as a b (the two corresponding Arabic letters are very similar when used as the first letter in a word), leading to the Medieval Latin form Bedalgeuze. In the Renaissance, another set of scholars trying to figure out the name interpreted the first syllable bed- as being derived from a putative Arabic word *bāṭ meaning “armpit.” This word did not exist; it would correctly have been ibṭ. Nonetheless, the error stuck, and the resultant etymologically “improved” spelling Betelgeuse was borrowed into French as Bételgeuse, whence English Betelgeuse.
betelgeuse - Science Definition
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