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  • Mysteries of vernacular:

  • Jade,

  • a hard, typically green stone.

  • Until relatively recently,

  • gemstones were believed

  • to have magical, medicinal properties,

  • and nothing was more effective

  • at treating a kidney disorder than jade.

  • In the 16th century,

  • the Spanish returned from the New World

  • with the mineral in their cargo holds

  • and christened it, "piedra de la ijada,"

  • or loin stone.

  • It quickly became popular throughout Europe,

  • both as a cure for internal ailments

  • and as a decorative ornament

  • and was renamed jade by the French,

  • a word that was borrowed by the English

  • and remains in use to this day.

  • In the 19th century,

  • French mineralogists discovered

  • that jade was being used

  • to describe two distinct minerals:

  • jadeite, which takes its name from jade,

  • and the more common nephrite,

  • the root of which is the Greek word nephros,

  • meaning kidney.

  • In addition to describing these two minerals,

  • jade also has an English homonym.

  • With roots that predate the popularity

  • of the lustral gemstone,

  • jade was used to refer to

  • either a disreputable woman

  • or a broken-down horse.

  • Thus, the word jaded, meaning worn out

  • or lacking enthusiasm,

  • has nothing to do with the gemstone,

  • and instead, comes from the archaic,

  • equine-related definition.

Mysteries of vernacular:

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B2 TED-Ed jade kidney stone ornament french

【TED-Ed】Mysteries of vernacular: Jade - Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel

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    wikiHuang posted on 2013/11/26
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