The etymology of jumart



In French the suffixes -ard and -art, especially the former, are used to form nouns or adjectives, often with diminutive or pejorative meanings. The word jumart is probably derived from the French word jument, ("mare") and the ending -ard/-art. In other words, -ard or -art is added to the stem of jument, jum- to yield jumard or jumart (both forms exist in French, also joumard). Most of the primary reports about jumarts are in French and the sites where such hybrids were supposed to have been produced were also places in France. So the name jumard/jumart is also originally French. Only jumart seems to have carried over into English. The following are examples of French words with similar derivations:

  • · brouter (“to browse or graze”) +‎ -ard yields broutard a calf or lamb that accompanies its mother to grazing pastures;

  • · charogne (“carrion”) +‎ -ard yields charognard scavenger (animal feeding on decaying matter);

  • · chauffer (“driver”) +‎ -ard yields chauffard bad driver;

  • · faible (“feeble”) +‎ -ard yields faiblard weakling;

  • · fuir (“to flee”) +‎ -ard yields fuyard fugitive, runaway;

  • · gauche (“left”) +‎ -ard yields gauchard left-handed person;

  • · pendre (“to hang”) +‎ -ard yields pendard gallows bird, rascal, one who deserves to hang;

  • · pleurnicher (“to whine”) +‎ -ard yields pleurnichard crybaby, sniveller;

  • · queuter (“to have sex”) +‎ -ard yields queutard womanizer (man fixated on sex).

Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, giving an alternative derivation, states that the French jumart derives from Provençal gimerro, jamerro or chimarro, from Old Provençal jumerra, ultimately from Latin chimaera, meaning chimera.

Many names have been used, in various languages, to refer to hybrids of this sort. Among them are the following.

  • · French: jumart, jumard, jumar, joumar, joumard, gemart, gemard, gemar, gimar, baf; bif, hippotaure, onotaure;

  • · Valéian*: jumerre;

  • · English: jumart, ox-horse, ox-donkey;

  • · Latin: iumarus, hippotaurus, onotaurus, hippobus, iumar, -a, -s;

  • · Spanish: hippotauro, -a; onotauro, -a;

  • · German: Ochsenpferd, -e; Ochsenesel, -n; Maulochs, -en Jumar, Gemar, Jumarre, Jumarra;

  • · Italian: giumarro, -i; giumerro, -i; ippobo, -i; bosmulo, -i;

  • · Arabic (according to Shaw): kumrah or koomrah.

*Valéian is the dialect of Occitan spoken in the Ubaye Valley (French: Vallée de l'Ubaye, formerly, Vallée de Barcelonnette)

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