Clittary Hilton (clittary_hilton) wrote in ru_etymology,
Clittary Hilton

Конь в яблоках

Казалось бы, все должно быть ясно, пятна похожие на яблоки. Столь же была я уверена и в соответствующем английском слове, dapple(d). Однако слово это никакого отношения к apple не имеет. Oxford English dictionary:
Unless this is the first element in dapple-grey, it is not known until late in the 16th cent., being preceded somewhat by examples of the adjective of the same form, and followed by those of the verb in the simple tenses; the (? participial) adjective dappled however appears two centuries earlier. The mutual relations of these and the derivation and etymological development of the whole group are, from the want of data, still uncertain. The primary meaning of dappled was ‘spotted, specked, blotched’, which might arise either from a verb ‘to spot’ or a noun = ‘spot, blotch’. A possible connection is the Icelandic depill (found in 13th cent.) ‘spot, dot’; according to Vigfusson ‘a dog with spots over the eyes is also called depill’. This is apparently a diminutive of dapi pool: compare modern Norwegian dape, depel muddy pool, pond, dub; Middle Low German dope, dobbe. Thus dapple might perhaps originally mean a ‘splash’, and, hence, a small blotch or speck of colour.
Однако Online Etymology dictionary допускает связь с яблоком через заднюю дверь:
Perhaps a back-formation from, or merger with, Middle English adjective dapple-gray "apple-gray" (late 14c.), based on resemblance to the markings on an apple (compare Old Norse apalgrar "dapple-gray"), or, as it was used of gray horses with round blotches, perhaps via resemblance to apples themselves.
Является ли русское «в яблоках» самостоятельным выражением или это калька с английского (или немецкого, или французского)? Тем более, что само «общеславянское название яблока заимствовано славянами у кельтов» (Черных).
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