November 06, 2013
bamboo (noun)
\bam-BOO\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: any of various chiefly tropical tall woody grasses including some with strong hollow stems used for building, furniture, or utensils
How do you use it?
The giant panda must eat up to 66 pounds of bamboo every day in order to get all the nutrients it needs to survive.
Are you a word wiz?

Which of these languages do you think gave us the word "bamboo"?

English borrowed "bamboo" from the Malay word "bambu" back in the late 1500s. A surprising number of common English words trace to Malay. Others include "gingham," the name of a cotton fabric whose Malayan ancestor, "genggang," means "striped cloth." The Malay word "kechap," meaning "fish sauce," became English "ketchup." Another example is "gong," the name originally given to a percussion instrument and now also used for a large saucer-shaped bell. One more example of a word borrowed from Malay into English is "gecko," the name of a small lizard.
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