Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bagel? What's a bagel?

I have been thinking about bagels this morning. I happen to subscribe to the etymological theory that the word comes from the Hebrew, b'igul, in a circle. I have neither a basis for this belief nor any particular reason why I would subscribe to that idea. I just like it because of the coincidence.

I happen to think that the same etymology can be applied to the beagle, for the same reasons.

My daughter ordered an "everything bagel" this morning and I was a bit disappointed. Sure, there were poppy and sesame seeds, toasted onion and garlic, and even salt. But is that "everything"? If I were to state my undying love to my bashert and insist "you mean everything to me" would I be limiting my eternal affection to those same toppings? When I order a pizza with everything, do I want a pizza with salt? Or, or, for that matter, do I want a pizza with romantic entanglements?

A more conventional etymology of the word bagel suggests that it develops from older Germanic words meaning "ring" so when that romantic fool got down on one knee and proposed, he might have presented his beloved with a bagel and offered her everything but might have only intended for that to include such savories as toasted garlic. If that's the case then I think that people might want to refigure alimony as related to "alimentary." Or just get rid of the dog.

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