|Map of Guadalupe River System from silichip.org|
The most obvious etymology to start with here is that of riparian. Ripa is classical Latin for "river bank" and is cognate with English river. So riparian is "of or related to the river bank." There is also the cognate riverine. Riparian dates from only 1810 in the written record, and riverine came a bit later. We find riverain, too, which came the French route to English - it was originally a person who lived on the banks of a river. It's the oldest of this group (not including river) and dates to the late 17th century in French.
|Guadalupe River riparian area in San Jose from rhorii.org|
Another interesting word related to our walk is slough. In the U.S. we pronounce it "slew" (and sometimes spell it that way) but in the U.K. it is, of course, pronounced "slau". The meanings are slightly different between the U.S. and U.K., as well. In the U.S. a slough is a marshy or reedy pool, pond, small lake, backwater or inlet, or a seasonally dry channel, while in the U.K. it is soft or muddy ground, or a mire. However, the basic idea of "wet" runs through both meanings. It was slóhin Old English, but beyond that it's a bit of a mystery. The OED suggests that it may be related to slonk, which has cognates in other Germanic languages and means "a wet hollow in the road or ground." There is, of course, the town of Slough in England, made unhappily infamous by Betjeman's notorious poem. It was so named as it was located in a miry area. In 1195 it was Slo.
We close where we began - with the Guadalupe River. Guadalupe is a curious word, and it is also
|Squirrel, from quintessentialruminations.wordpress.com|