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Grammar Central > Maven - Journal Mavens

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message 1: by Mikki (new)

Mikki (AussieTwins99) | 27 comments Ok! Im wondering where the root of the word comes from! Im a member of group called journal Mavens and don't recall hearing the term Mavens used until about 10 yrs ago and Im pndering on the origins and what the term means to you!

message 2: by David (new)

David | 4568 comments "Maven" is a Yiddish term for an expert or skilled person. I don't know whether it's from Slavic, Hebrew, or something else.

message 3: by Debbie, sardonic princess of cheerfulness (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 6387 comments Mod
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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For other uses, see Maven (disambiguation).
A maven (also mavin) is a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. The word maven "comes from the Yiddish, and it means one who accumulates knowledge."

message 4: by Debbie, sardonic princess of cheerfulness (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 6387 comments Mod
Ooops....sorry David! Didn't see you there! What you said!

message 5: by David (new)

David | 4568 comments Am Heritage Dict says "[Yiddish meyvn, from Hebrew mēbîn, active participle of hēbîn, to understand, derived stem of bîn, to discern; see byn in Semitic roots.:] "

message 6: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 28 comments Not to put too fine a point on it, but if anyone's interested . . . As above (sort of), MAVEN comes from the Hebrew BINA . . . there are actually 3 common Heb. words that signify types of knowing: CHOCHMA, the initial spark of an idea; BINA, the development into understanding; and DA'AT, the resulting, actual wisdom. Think of it like a male-female-child kind of progression . . . Sorry, as the new kid on the block, I'll try to be lighter next time!

message 7: by Mikki (new)

Mikki (AussieTwins99) | 27 comments I am aware of all the above as I speak Hebrew I just am trying to work out how it came to be used colloqually whilst on American programs and people accept it as an anglo word! I thought maybe it also derives from somewhere else! Thanks all for letting others in on it!

message 8: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 28 comments Oh, I see, sorry Mikki! I think William Safire did a lot toward popularizing it in the US when he called himself a "language maven" in the '80s.

message 9: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
"Grammar maven" is where I see the term most (nota bene: I am not one of the aforementioned).

message 10: by Tyler (new)

Tyler  (tyler-d) | 268 comments I've heard "maven" for as long as I can remember, so it's not a recent addition to the language. It always seemed to fit well into English, so I didn't know it was a foreign word.

One mistake I used to make was thinking a maven had to be a woman, because I always heard about the "style mavens" in high fashion.

message 11: by David (new)

David | 4568 comments Supposedly there's an album of Joel Grey (later of "Cabaret") singing cowboy songs in Yiddish.

Ever heard about it?

message 12: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 28 comments No, but Mandy Patinkin has an album which, in addition to some Yiddish classics - Afen Priperchik etc - includes Take Me Out to the Ballgame (ein, tsfei, drei!) White Christmas (!), God Bentch America (Irving Berlin, after all) and others . . .

message 13: by Gail (last edited Jan 19, 2009 04:54AM) (new)

Gail I believe Irving Berling also wrote "White Christmas."

There's an oldish but useful and funny book kicking around called "The Joys of Yiddish." Explains many words and there origins and how they came to be in common usage in the U.S.

message 14: by David (new)

David | 4568 comments I found this period piece.

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