Tag Archive for 'meaning'

What’s in a name? The meaning behind Kororaa

Many users have asked me why Kororaa is called Kororaa. It’s hard to spell and it’s hard to say (it’s even a rude word in some languages, sorry about that). Well, I’d like to share the meaning behind the name.

The word Kororaa is an alternate spelling of the Māori word Kororā, which is a name given to the smallest of all penguin species, the little penguin (Eudyptula minor):

Korora Penguin
(Photo from Wikipedia licensed under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

They are also known as little blue penguins, but when I was in school I knew them as fairy penguins (I guess I could have called my distro Fairy Linux instead).

These gorgeous little penguins stand at just 30cm (12″) tall for fully grown adults. They are native to Australia (where I come from) and New Zealand, although there have also been reported sightings from Chile (where they are known as Pingüino pequeño or Pingüino azul).

Not only are they the cutest penguins around, they are also the penguins responsible for the Linux mascot, Tux. That’s right! Linus was visiting Canberra and while at the National Zoo and Aquarium was bitten on the finger by one of these little penguins. Later, when it came time to think of a mascot for Linux, Linus couldn’t get that cute little blue penguin out of his head and so Tux was born.

Story behind Tux
(Photo from Wikipedia licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

So, Kororaa might be hard to spell and it might be hard to say, but it’s a real word and it has real meaning :-)

Say tuple, not tupple!

The word tuple is derived from Latin and in mathematics means ‘an ordered set of elements’.

A tuple containing ‘n’ components is known as a n-tuple. For example, 4-tuple (or ‘quadruple’).

We are all familiar with these terms:

Single
Pair
Triple
Quadruple
Quintuple
Sextuple
Septuple
and so on..

We pronounce the ‘uple words with an ‘oo’ sound, like quadruple

kwo-droo-puhl

And not

kwo-druhp-uhl

Likewise, the pronunciation for ‘quintuple’ is

kwin-too-puhl

The only time the sound changes is when the suffix changes, like in quintuplet (to make it a noun), which is pronounced

kwin-tuhp-lit

In order for the ‘u’ in tuple to be pronounced as a ‘uh’ sound (like in supple) it should have a double-p. Just like ripple, tipple and of course, nipple.

But it doesn’t. It only has one.

Likewise, if the word as an ‘e’ on the end then the vowel is pronounced in full.

cap -> cape
met -> mete
sit -> site
dot -> dote
cub -> cube

So “tup” (pronounced “tuhp”), should be pronounced “tyoop” when you add an “e”.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule in English (that’s what helps make English great!), but there is a similar Latin-based word that might shed some light, duple (from the Latin “duplus” meaning twofold or double). This word is only pronounced one way and that is with the full ‘u’ sound (doo-puhl).

If that’s not enough to convince you, here are some examples where the middle vowel (like in duple and tuple) is pronounced as a long sounding vowel

cable
fable
gable
ladle
maple
noble
ruble
sable
table

So don’t be a dupe, learn to say tupe!