"Donald J. HARLOW" wrote:
> Boirac raised the question with Zamenhof in 1913, and Zamenhof explained it
> as a back-formation from "kronprincedzino" = German "kronprinzessin", the
> wife of the crown prince. From this, Z created the super-long suffix
> "-edzino", "wife", from which (by deletion of the Esperanto suffix -IN-) he
> got the suffix -edz-, "husband". And, since a suffix and a root are
> identical except in what they are (supposedly) most frequently used for,
> you end up with "edz'", husband.
> Later Esperanto etymologists accepted the process but not necessarily the
> word that Z. quoted. Waringhien, Maimon and others suspected that, in fact,
> Z. started out not with a German word but with a _Yiddish_ word, namely
> "rebecin", Mrs. Rabbi. However, in pre-World-War-I Europe Z. would have
> felt (or so Waringhien et al believed) that, at least publicly, it would be
> better to give such a word a more "respectable" pedigree. This was, after
> all, not all that long (less than a decade!) after the most recent pogroms
> in the East and the Dreyfus case (which, according to Waringhien, _may_
> have played a secondary role in the personal conflicts that led up to Ido)
> in the West.

   Thanks Don for your immediate reply!
   So, "edzo" is a regressive derivation from "edzino", which in turn
comes from "Kronprinzessin" and/or "rebecin"? I wouldn't have guessed it
by myself in a thousand years, even though a prize of 100,000 German
marks of 1908 (like the one promised to anyone who demonstrated Fermat's
last theorem) was offered for the right answer!

   By the way, I've noticed just now that German "Prinzessin" contains a
double feminine suffix: Romance -ess and German -in. Either *Prinzesse
or *Prinzin would have been sufficient; but when the loanword was
adopted in German they felt necessary to add both suffixes. Interesting,
isn't it?
   (We have a similar redundancy in Spanish _el algodůn_ "the cotton",
where we use the Spanish article "el" next to the Arabic one "al-" which
is already incorporated in the word).

   A much clearer etymology is that of _fraulo_ (u breve) 'unmarried
man'. Obviously it's also a regressive derivation from _fraulino_
'unmarried woman', which is easily traced to German "Fršulein". But I
always wondered why did Zamenhof choose this word.
   Surely he was aware that "Fršulein" wasn't a feminine form with the
ending -in (*Fršule-in), but a diminutive form of Frau 'woman'
   It would have been shocking for me to be referred to as a "fraulo"
(I'm an "edzo" now), because I wouldn't be able to discard from my mind
the feminine concept implicit in "frau-". And I suppose it would be much
worse to a native German-speaking man!

   So, I don't like the word "fraulo" too much. But Zamenhof did, and
"donde manda capitŠn no manda marinero" (where a captain commands, the
sailors just obey).