The Word “Caviare”

“Caviare” is of Turkish origin; it comes from Turkish Khāviyār.

It spread from there to a number of European languages, including Italian caviale and the French caviar, many of which contributed to the rather confusing diversity of forms in 16th-, 17th-, and early 18th-century English: cavialy, cavery, caveer, gaveare, etc. By the mid-18th century caviare or caviar had become the established spellings.

Ironically, although caviare is quintessentially a Russian delicacy, Russia does not have the word caviar; it uses икра – “ikra.”

Interestingly enough, the Japanese word for salmon roe ikura (イクラ) is transliteration of the Russian word ikra. John Ayato Dictionary of Word Origins. New York. 1991.

Have you tried caviar? Where? Leave your comment below!

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