Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Which came first, 호리병 or 호리병박?

호리병박 is a "bottle gourd," which is also called a 조롱박. 박 means "gourd, and 호리병 is defined in my Korean-Korean dictionary as 호리병박 모양으로 만든 병, which means "a bottle made in the shape of a bottle gourd." So, my question is this: Which came first, the "bottle gourd" or the "bottle shaped like a bottle gourd"?

The bottle gourd (호리병박) gets its name from 호리병, but 호리병 is defined as "a bottle shaped like the bottle gourd." In other words, a 호리병 is a bottle shaped like a gourd that is shaped like a 호리병. Or we could say that a "bottle gourd" is a gourd shaped like a bottle that is shaped like a bottle gourd.

Ooooooh, I am sorry, but I have to stop here. This chicken-or-egg thing is making me dizzy.

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