Betelgeuse

Be·tel·geuse (bēt’l-jo͞oz′, bĕt’l-jœz′)
n. A bright-red intrinsic variable star, 527 light years from Earth, in the constellation Orion.
[French Bételgeuse, ultimately from Arabic yad al-jawzā' : yad, hand; see yd + al-, the + jawzā', Gemini (later also used for Orion) (perhaps from jawz, middle (Gemini perhaps originally being so called because it crossed the middle of the sky, and Orion later being so called because of the three bright stars in the middle of the constellation, forming Orion's belt) , from jāza, to pass through; see gwz).]
Word History: The history of the curious star name Betelgeuse is a good example of how scholarly errors can creep into language. The story starts with the pre-Islamic Arabic astronomers, who called the star yad al-jawzā', "hand of the jawzā'." The jawzā' was their name for the constellation Gemini. After Greek astronomy became known to the Arabs, the word came to be applied to the constellation Orion as well. Some centuries later, when scribes writing in Medieval Latin tried to render the word, they misread the y as a b (the two corresponding Arabic letters are very similar when used as the first letter in a word), leading to the Medieval Latin form Bedalgeuze. In the Renaissance, another set of scholars trying to figure out the name interpreted the first syllable bed- as being derived from a putative Arabic word *bāṭ meaning "armpit." This word did not exist; it would correctly have been ibṭ. Nonetheless, the error stuck, and the resultant etymologically "improved" spelling Betelgeuse was borrowed into French as Bételgeuse, whence English Betelgeuse.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Betelgeuse — ist: Ein Stern im Sternbild Orion, siehe Beteigeuze Ein Öltanker, siehe Betelgeuse (Schiff) Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Betelgeuse — Betelgeuse, también llamada a Orión, es una gran estrella roja en la constelación de Orión. Es la 12ª estrella más brillante en el cielo, una supergigante roja. El color caracteristico de esta estrella proviene de las bajas temperaturas de su… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Betelgeuse — [bēt′ l jo͞oz΄, bet′ l jo͞oz΄] n. [Fr Bételgeuse < Ar baytal jauzāʾ, lit., house of the middle (of the sky)] a reddish, supergiant variable star in the constellation Orion: magnitude, 0.4 to 0.9: sometimes sp. Betelgeux …   English World dictionary

  • Bételgeuse — étoile supergéante rouge d Orion …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Betelgeuse — bright star in the shoulder of Orion, 1515, from Arabic Ibt al Jauzah the Armpit of the Central One. Intermediary forms include Bed Elgueze, Beit Algueze …   Etymology dictionary

  • Betelgeuse — Starbox begin name =Betelgeuse, Alpha OriStarbox image caption = Betelgeuse is the upper left star (pink arrow) in the rectangle of bright stars in Orion.Starbox observe epoch = J2000.0 constell = Orion ra = RA|05|55|10.3053cite web… …   Wikipedia

  • Bételgeuse — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Bételgeuse (homonymie). Bételgeuse α Orionis Bételgeuse vue à l aide du télescope s …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Betelgeuse — Alpha Orionis Pour les articles homonymes, voir Bételgeuse. Bételgeuse (α Orionis) Bételgeuse vue à l aide du tél …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Betelgeuse — /beet l joohz , bet l juez /, n. Astron. a first magnitude red supergiant in the constellation Orion. Also, Betelgeux. [1790 1800; < F < Ar bit al jauza shoulder of the giant (i.e., of Orion)] * * * (from Arabic bat al dshauza, the giant s… …   Universalium

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