Etymology of grotesque
Posted by Johannes on 16 April 2012
The adj. grotesque comes from the French crotesque from the Italian grottesco, (lit. “of a cave,”), from grotta, from the Latin crypta (vault, cavern), which is a transliteration of the Greek crypte [crypt, hidden place; Gr: κρύπτη]. Initially the phrase “figura grottesca” (or “pitture grottesche”) was referring to the paintings of the caves.
In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) grotesco: grotesque [Gr.: γκροτέσκο; loanword]
b) crypte: crypt [Gr.: κρύπτη]
c) crypto (or cryvo): to hide, conceal, secrete [Gr.: κρύβω]
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