'Szczebrzuch' and the names of inheritances and dowries
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The following article presents the origins of some of the old names of inheritance and dowry types received by specific members of the family in two kinds of circumstances: after sb.'s death (successio) and entering a matrimony (dos). From the names presented here only a few have been preserved to the modern times (spadek, posag), the others either vanished or were put in the archives of national vocabulary (czwarcizna, gierada, list wienny, list reformacyjny, reformacja), have a limited use (wiano), or have altered their meaning (grat, graty). The most enigmatic word is 'szczebrzuch' - it has obscure ethymology, difficult to explain. It is present in the old Polish in several meanings: 1) name of a garden plant; 2) 'household dishes or appliances', also 'Church or military appliances'; 3) 'dishes, household appliances, valuables - as the dowry of the bride'; 4) 'arrowhead or spearhead'.
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