Drizzle and Mizzle
Something about language, but not Italian this time! Though it did come up during in conversation with some friends from my Italian class 🙂
Drizzle and mizzle are an interesting pair of words.
They mean practically the same thing, depending on your interpretation of the words ‘fine’ and ‘small’. This from my Chambers dictionary:
- Drizzle, vi to rain in fine drops n a small light rain
- Mizzle, vi to rain in small drops n fine rain
And they sound the same.
You might think they come from the same place or that one was just made up as a variation of the other. But they’re not. They come from completely different roots.
- Drizzle [Frequentative of ME dresen, from OE dreosan to fall; Gothic driusan]
- Mizzle [Cf LGer miseln mist]
I’m not an expert in etymology, but I can see that drizzle comes from Old / Middle English meaning fall, whereas mizzle comes from Low German meaning mist. Very interesting, isn’t it?