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Linguistic question for English-speaking users

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Hi,

Just a simple question: what's the name you are using for this big kind of umbrellas used on the beach? Like this one. Would you say umbrella or parasol? Or maybe something completely different? And how would you call the other kinds - the one people carry in case of rain or this tiny one, used to decorate drinks?

I have always thought that there is one English word for it - umbrella (in Polish there's only "parasol" and it's diminutive, "parasolka"). But when I solved some griddlers and read their comments, I noticed that there's not emoticon. I checked several dictionaries, but I couldn't really get the difference...

Thanks in advance!
najata

Re: Linguistic question for English-speaking users
Respuesta
10/03/08 1:33 en respuesta a najata.
From wikipedia
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbrella)

The term parasol usually refers to an item designed to protect from the sun, and umbrella refers to a device more suited to protect from rain. Often the difference is the material; a parasol would sometimes not be waterproof. Parasols are often meant to be fixed to one point and often used with patio tables or other outdoor furniture, or on the beach for shelter from the sun. Umbrellas are almost exclusively hand-held portable devices; however, parasols can also be hand-held.

Re: Linguistic question for English-speaking users
Respuesta
10/03/08 13:22 en respuesta a najata.
Z tego co wiem, Anglicy i Amerykanie uzywają "parasol" na ten sprzęt, który chroni przed slońcem (zarówno wielki, np. na plaży lub na ganku, patio, jak i ten noszony w ręku); zgodnie zresztą ze znaczeniem (para sol - na słońce). W języku polskim istniało kiedyś słowo "umbrelka" i kto wie, czy dla nas nie był to parasolik od słońca, czyli zupełnie odwrotnie niż w języku angielskim emoticon

Re: Linguistic question for English-speaking users
Respuesta
10/03/08 14:51 en respuesta a najata.
[quote="najata"]Hi,

Just a simple question: what's the name you are using for this big kind of umbrellas used on the beach? Like this one. Would you say umbrella or parasol? Or maybe something completely different? And how would you call the other kinds - the one people carry in case of rain or this tiny one, used to decorate drinks?



Despite the quote from Wikipedia, the examples you list would all be umbrellas in the usage here. If it is other than one used for protection from rain, we add a description if it is needed. So beach umbrella, table umbrella, or patio umbrella for the larger sun shades and paper umbrella or drink umbrella for those tiny decorative ones.

A parasol would be a hand-held sunshade of a non-waterproof material. Because the drink umbrellas are made of paper they are sometimes referred to as parasols.

Re: Linguistic question for English-speaking users
Respuesta
12/03/08 23:36 en respuesta a najata.
Thank you very much for all your answers emoticon
Right, I forgot about Wikipedia. My bad. Sorry! I'm just not used to think of it as a reliable source emoticon

So, "parasol" isn't waterproof - and that's enough for me. It's even logical, I would say ;)

Thank you once again!

Re: Linguistic question for English-speaking users
Respuesta
13/03/08 5:33 en respuesta a najata.
English varies from place to place. In American usage one can use "umbrella" for just about everything, including a paper beach umbrella. It derives from the Latin word for "shade". One rarely hears "paper umbrella", almost always "paper parasol", but without the lead in "paper" one will hear "umbrella" for eveyrthing, including "umbrella drinks" at Trader Vic's and "Chinese umbrellas" for decorative paper umbrellas.

The one exception is the 19th Century type of ladies' sunshade (which was known as a "sunshade" when the style was current), which has a long shaft and short ribs. Most people who would refer to such a thing would say "sunshade" or "parasol", but these are people who are already educated in past fashions. A guy might say "umbrella" if he didn't know another word.

"Parasol", in the U.S., can be used for any sunshade which is carried, and as has been said before, is not usually made of waterproof material. One sees people using nylon rain umbrellas as sunshades but the word "parasol" doesn't come to mind.

The paper parasols in drinks are miniatures of the Chinese ones which are meant to be carried. But larger, free standing ones are called "umbrellas". Besides "beach umbrellas", there are "clip on umbrellas" which go on one's folding chair and backyard "sun umbrellas" made of canvas or metal, or "sunbrella" fabric, which is a trademark for a canvas substitute which holds its color in the sun. These are often found in "umbrella tables" and anchored by "umbrella stands". Which are concrete and have a hole in the middle for the shaft, unlike indoor "umbrella stands" which stand by the door and hold closed rain umbrellas.

"Market umbrellas" are large canvas versions of the table umbrella, of a particular style, and often with advertising logos on them if they're in public places. "Golf umbrellas" are the very large ones which two can stand under (presumably the player and caddie), usually two alternating colors, and used for both rain and sun. "Doorman's umbrella" is even larger and is meant for a doorman to hold over one or two people getting out of a car while they walk to the door, usually black, but possibly red, dark blue or gold.

There are modifiers for all the other kinds of umbrellas, but they're still umbrellas: There's a "folding umbrella", which refers to ribs that fold, "mini-umbrella" (6 inches or less folded), "pocket umbrella" or "purse umbrella" for small, lightweight ones, "stick umbrella" for a fixed, rather than telescoping shaft, "gentleman's umbrella" for a classic, large, stick umbrella with a crooked handle, etc., but all of them can just be called "umbrella".

Besides umbrella there are lots of slang words for the kind used in the rain, the most common of which are brolly (England) and bumbershoot.

Re: Linguistic question for English-speaking users
Respuesta
13/03/08 22:54 en respuesta a najata.
(in Polish there's only "parasol" and it's diminutive, "parasolka").

hi, it is very interesting, also very strange, because i know in Spanish "para"=for , "sol"=sun , PARASOL=to use in the sun,which means against sun ! umbrela in spanish is "paraguas" agua=water, PARAGUAS= "for waters".

Re: Linguistic question for English-speaking users
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13/03/08 23:55 en respuesta a najata.
In Dutch we use parasol if it's meant to give us some shade and paraplu if we want protection from the rain. Rain in French is plui, so paraplu means against the rain. According to the Dutch wiki, parasol is the oldest word of the two. Apparently it was more important to protect oneself to the sun than to the rain. Hard to imagine in this part of the world!

Jelga :toothy2:

Re: Linguistic question for English-speaking users
Respuesta
14/03/08 9:28 en respuesta a najata.
You're right about the Latin roots, but parasol actually comes from the Italian by way of French into English. The "para" is not "for" but from parere meaning to protect from or stave off. The sol is sun.

I believe the French word for rain umbrella is paraplui.

Re: Linguistic question for English-speaking users
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16/03/08 13:28 en respuesta a najata.
[quote="glllop"]I believe the French word for rain umbrella is paraplui.
parapluie.

Re: Linguistic question for English-speaking users
Respuesta
27/03/08 3:07 en respuesta a najata.
To make things more complicated, French actually has three words:
- parapluie : an umbrella to protect oneself from the rain
- parasol : a large, free standing parasol, or the kind that is affixed to a an outdoor table.
- ombrelle : the small, portable parasol ladies of yore used to carry around.

Confusing, huh ?

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