BŁUÉT D’BANKE* / sheep’s bit

photo source: wikimedia

błuét d’banke“, s.m., pronounced [bʎ(ʏ/w)ɛ d bɑ̃:k] 🔊, is the Sarkese neology name for “sheep’s bit”, “blue bonnet” or “blue buttons” (Jasione montana). The word was constructed based on the Sarkese name recorded by E. Edmont in 1889 for “cornflower”, “błuét“, a plant which has been extinct in Sark. As no name for sheep’s bit, a fairly common plant on the island, was, unfortunately, recorded in the previous centuries and since our last speakers cannot recall any, the name “błuét d’banke” was proposed and introduced, in order to preserve the documented “błuét”.

origin: Sarkese neology / first recorded for Sarkese: 2023 (introduced) / current status in the 21st century: introduced

“błuét d’banke” is a compound name, made of the masculine variable countable noun “błuét” (a he-word that can be counted and changes in plural), and the prepositional attribute “d’banke”. Although we may say “ûn błuét d’banke” when talking about one flower, in general, the plural form “dê błuê” or “dê błuê d’banke” is recommended.

The pronunciation of “błuét” both in singular and plural changes depending on if something follows, “błuét” is pronounced [bʎʏɛt], with a [t], but if “d’banke” directly follows, the ‘-t’ is not pronounced. In plural, “błuê” on its own is pronounced [bʎʏɑ:ɪ̯], but if together with “d’banke”, it reverts [bʎʏɛ: d bɑ̃:k], according to the standard rules of the Sarkese phonology. It should be also noted, that [ʏ] in contact with another vowel is very often pronounced as [w] in Sarkese, or [ʏw-V] depending on how fast we speak.

On the origin

Despite being a common flower in Sark, no original name for sheep’s bit was documented in the past and no name was, unfortunately, recalled by any of our last remaining native speakers in the 21st century. On the other hand, in 1889 a name for another blue flower, cornflower, “błuét“, was recorded, but cornflower became extinct in Sark since then. In order to preserve the existing name, which could be translated as “bluey”, it was proposed to use it for sheep’s bit with the addition of the attribute “d’banke”, so lit. “shore bluey” or “bank bluey”, since the flower grows on the island’s banks in great numbers, similarly as “see pink”, known as “ẏłét d’banke” in Sarkese.


Citation: NEUDÖRFL, Martin. błuét d’banke/sheep’s bit. In: Sark Norman Dictionary Online [on-line]. https://www.bonjhur.net/sndo-vocab-flora-bluet-d-banke

Relevant SNDO Entries:

→ back to the WILD FLORA OF SARK section