Posts Tagged ‘Greek’

nice and Nice

June 8, 2015

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Here’s a nice question from Jo:

Is there any link between the English word ‘nice’ and the French city named Nice? Nice is very nice after all.

Yes, but no. Sorry to disappoint.

Nice the city was founded around 350BC by the Greeks, who named it ‘Nikaia’, meaning ‘victory’, after the Grecian winged goddess of victory, Nike. I’m guessing that ‘k’ probably morphed into a ‘c’ when the Romans were carousing around taking charge of that region in the subsequent centuries and spelt the name ‘Nicaea’.

The adjective ‘nice’ came from Latin and old French, in which it meant ‘stupid’. Not so nice after all.

PS Perhaps you’d like to revisit the classic Dave from Smethwick question in AMT145 about whether you’re supposed to pronounce Nice Biscuits like the place or the adjective.

ALBUMSCLASSIC EPISODESBOOKiTUNESSOUNDCLOUDFAQ
iPHONE APPANDROID APPFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBEMERCH