PÂKROLE / primrose

a Sarkese primrose

pâkrole“, s.f., pronounced [pɑ:krɔʊ̯l] 🔊, is the Sarkese name for “primrose” (Primula vulgaris), an edible flowering plant, which in spring grows abundantly on Sark, where it is, as in most of Europe, considered to be one of the main symbols of spring, together with bluebells, “cůců“. It is possible to distinguish “pâkrole sòvaje”, wild primroses, and “pâkrole d’gárdin”, garden primroses.

origin: Old NF Romance / first recorded for Sarkese: 1930s (JPC) / current status in the 21st century: preserved, in use

“pâkrole” is a feminine invariable countable noun (a she-word that may be counted, but doesn’t change in plural). We may therefore say “one primrose”, “two primroses”, so “une pâkrole”, “deù pâkrole”, “trê pâkrole” etc. As for the pronunciation, it is quite regular with the ‘â’ being long, as indicated by the diacritic, and ‘o’, pronounced as “ow” in “low”.

On the origin

photo source: wikimedia

The Sarkese name “pâkrole” is directly related to the names for primrose in the other two surviving Norman languages of the Channel Islands, Jersey Norman and Guernsey Norman, in which it is known as “pâqu’role“.

Regarding the origin of the name, the folk etymology usually gives a relation with the word “Pâke“, Easter in Sarkese, as primroses often bloom in the Easter season. The same etymology is usually given for daisies in French, “pâquerette” (known as “ménleu” in Sarkese). Nonetheless, some see the origin of the “pâk-” in the names of these flowers not in Easter, “Pâke“, but in the French word “pâquis” for pasturage. The latter theory is certainly valid too, as primroses and daisies do grow in places where cattle and sheep graze, however, the folk interpretation in relation to Easter and spring is definitely more attractive.


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

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