MÉNLEU / daisy

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ménleu“, pronounced [mɛ̃nlœə̯] 🔊, historically possibly “mélleu” too, is today’s Sarkese a generic word for “daisy” and any daisy-like weed, including flowers that aren’t counted among “daisies” in English. In Sarkese, we distinguish primarely 1) “jòne ménleu“, lit. yellow daisies, “corn daisies” in English, the original bearers of the name “ménleu” in Ancient Norman, and 2) their white counterparts: “błȧn ménleu“, “common daisies”, márgerite“, “oxeye daisies”, “camẏre“, cammomile, or “ptit mêtre“, feverfew. Several orther flowers, which are not considered “daisies” in English, may fall under the name “ménleu” in Sarkese, such as “white campions”, “ménleu á věsŷ“.

In ancient times, the word “ménleu” used to be originally reserved for “corn marigold” only, but later on broadened its meaning to “daisy” in general – to learn more see, the SNDO entry on “jòne ménleu“.

origin: Gallo-Romance (Gaulish?) / first recorded for Sarkese: 1930s?* (JPC) / current status in the 21st century: preserved, in use

“ménleu” is an invariable uncountable masculine noun (a “he-word” that does not change and cannot be counted). In Sarkese, we therefore do not “count” daisies, as we don’t say two hapinesses or two advices in English, we don’t say “deù ménleû” or “deù ménleû” in Sarkese. When speaking about daisies in general, we prefer to combine the word with the so-called partitive, so “du ménleu”, lit. (some) daisy. If it is necessery to specify a number of daisies, be it plants or flowers, we may go around saying “two pieces” or “three flowers” of daisy etc., f.e. “deù mórsyò d’ménleu” or “trê fłeur d’ménleu”. The pronunciation is regular, though as indicated by the diacritic over the ‘é’ in ‘mén-‘, the ‘n’ has to be pronounced fully as [m], [mɛ̃n-lœə̯]. The final “eu” is in FSP pronounced as the dipthong [œə̯].

The Sarkese “ménleu”, which was recorded in the form of “błȧn ménleu” for the first time by J. P. Collas and then again confirmed by P. Brasseur in the 70s of the 20th century, is directly related to the Jersey Norman “mèneleu”, the Guernsey Norman “murlu” and the Gallo “menleu”. The word shares the same roots as the Breton “melen” and the Welsh “melyn”, meaning “yellow”. To learn more on the history of the ancient name for daisy in Sarkese, see the origin section in the SNDO entry “jòne ménleu“.


Citation: NEUDÖRFL, Martin. ménleu/daisy. In: Sark Norman Dictionary Online [on-line]. https://www.bonjhur.net/sndo-vocab-flora-menleu

Relevant SNDO Entries:

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