Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

Dear all,

for my post on card playing at the Council of Constance

[quote=vh0610 post_id=23671 time=1618346109 user_id=3706
Hence both version are very close and one can deduce that the text is correct and present in the original version. Thus it gives us strong evidence of card games at the Council of Constance (which is quite logic after the ban on card playing in Constance of 29.12.1379, you certainly all know of).

I have the date of the ban in Constance of 29.12.1379 of the several works of Hellmut Rosenfeld (1907 until1993) --a German Professor at the University of Munich and a profound researcher on cards-- I am just discovering. He wrote several articles and books on cards. HIs several works contain so much novelty to me, it is incredible - and I have to strong impression that it might also be novel to you.

Since it is late, I will cite now the most striking point for me from his article

Hellmut Rosenfeld: "Zur Vor- und Frühgeschichte und Morphogenese von Kartenspiel und Tarock", Archiv für Kulturgeschichte 52 (1970), p.65 - 94

On page 87/88 one can read
Jedenfalls ist die erste mir bekannte Erwähnung des Namens „Tarock" ein Chronikeintrag in Cremona aus
dem Jahre 1484, wo es heißt:
1484: in quest' anno il nostro Antonio de Cicognara eccellente pittore de'
quadri et bravo miniatore miniö et dipinse uno magnifico mazzo de carte dette
de' Tarrocchi, da me veduto, et ne fece presente all' illusissimo et reverendissimo
monsignore Ascanio Sforza cardinale di S. Chiesa
Damals also wurde dem Kardinal Sforza ein prachtvoll gemaltes Tarockspiel
geschenkt. Der Chronikeintrag läßt offen, ob die Benennung
Taroccchi schon eingebürgert war oder neu geprägt wurde. Der Name
hängt zweifellos mit ital. tara, „Gewichtsabzug", zusammen, und tara
seinerseits ist eine Ableitung von arab. tarh, „Abzug", bzw. arab. taraha,
„entfernen, beseitigen" (58).

And the footnote (57) points to
(57 ) Chroniknotiz des Domenici Bordigallo in: Leopoldo C i c o g n a r a , Memorie
spettanti alla storia della calcografia, Prato 1831, S. 158.

My translation:
Anyhow, the first reference known to me of the name „Tarock" is an item of a chronicle of Cremona from the year 1484, where it is said:
1484: in this year our excellent painter and experienced illuminist Antonio de Cicognara iluminated and painted a magnificent deck of cards named as
Tarrocchi, which I saw, and made it shown to the most illustrious and most reverend monsignore Ascanio Sforza Cardinale of S. Chiesa
Hence, in this time cardinal Sforza was gifted with a gorgeously painted Deck of Tarock. The item of the chronicle leaves it open, whether the denomination
Taroccchi was already naturalized or newly coined. The name is without any doubt related to ital. tara, „deduction of weight", and tara in turn is a derivation of arab. tarh, „deduction", resp. arab. taraha,
„take away, remove" (58).

And the footnote (57) points to
(57 ) Chronicle note of Domenici Bordigallo in: Leopoldo C i c o g n a r a , Memorie spettanti alla storia della calcografia, Prato 1831, S. 158.

For me, this is all new: Rosenfelds work points to the first apprearance of Taroccchi in direct connection with Sforza in the year 1484 - and he is the first to combine it with "tara" and "tarh" already in 1970.

What do you think about it?

His works contain much more novelty of this style to my eyes, and I will report on these in the next days (now it is really too late).

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

Addendum: ok, now I found that you know this already

On you find
Michael Dummett in his "Game of Tarot" (Appendix) commented the Cicognara case:
In Count Leopoldo Cicognara, Memorie spettanti alia Storia della Caliografia, Prato, 1831, p. 16, there is quoted an alleged excerpt from the Chronicle of Cremona by Domenico Bordigallo. The excerpt is in Italian, and states that in the year 1484 the excellent painter Antonio Cicognara (of the same family as the Count) painted uno magnified ma^o de carte dette de' Tarocchi, da me veduto (a magnificent pack of the cards called tarocchi, seen by me) for Cardinal Ascanio Sforza. Count Cicognara says that this passage was communicated to him by Mgr Antonio Dragoni from the schede (notes) of Giacomo Torresino, an eighteenth-century Cremonese antiquarian. On the strength of this passage, numerous art historians have ascribed various hand-painted Tarot cards of the fifteenth century to Antonio Cicognara, including the six cards of the Visconti-Sforza pack that are not by Bembo; but the passage is almost certainly spurious. Any historical document connected with Dragoni is under the gravest suspicion, since he was either a forger or the dupe of forgers, although he was primarily concerned with documents relating to the Dark Ages, of which he made, or manufactured, a large collection. Torresino did indeed compose notes on local history, using a page for each year, and entering quotations relating to that year from various sources; but this work, at any rate in the form in which it survives in the Biblioteca Statale at Cremona, stops before 1484. Bordigallo's Chronicle was written in Latin, and has never been published; the manuscript was located by Signer Marco Santambrogio, of the University of Bologna, in the Biblioteca Treccani in Milan, where, with the kind assistance of Signora Caria Treccani degli Alfieri, he examined it; he found that, while the entry for 1484 does contain a reference to Ascanio Sforza, namely to record that it was in that year that he was created a Cardinal, it mentions neither Antonio Cicognara nor tarocchi. It is conceivable that the quotation was in some later section of Torresino's notes that has since been lost, but from some other source, or that it is in Bordigallo's Chronicle," but under a later year (Ascanio Sforza died in 1505); but the probability is that it is quite inauthentic. In any case, the use of the modern word maw for 'pack' was, so far as I am aware, unknown in fifteenth-century Italian, which uses paro or gioco instead; so, even if the Italian given by Count Cicognara is a translation of some genuine Latin original, the word tarocchi is not likely to have occurred in that original. See M. Dummett, 'A Note on Cicognara', Journal of the Playing-Card Society, vol. II, no. 1, August 1973, pp. 14-17 (original issue), pp. 23-32 (reissue), and 'More about Cicognara', ibid., vol. V, no. 2, pp. 26-34."
I will report the other findings anyhow in the next days, perhaps something useful is in it...

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

Something about the history of playing card research.
Rosenfeld, Hellmut (1907-1993) 
Bibliothekar, Germanist, Volkskundler, Hochschullehrer, Prof.
Worldcat has 550 publications of him. Only some of them relate to playing cards

The IPCS (International Playing Card Society) was founded 1972 in London.
The first president was Detlev Hoffmann, who later became the most active writer of German books to the theme Spielkarten.
Worlcat shows, that Hoffmann had connections to a playing card Museum in Bielefeld. Later this Museum was installed in Stuttgart-Leinfelden. Nowadays it is reduced to an archive. ... rtenmuseum
The Society arranged the publication of a magazine, which was distributed to its members. The new platform made it possible, that Michael Dummett could collect his material for his Tarot history book (1980). ... edir_esc=y
Definitely also the Encyclopedia books of Stuart Kaplan profited from the IPCS works (1978). Dummett's book was better and more careful, but Kaplan's book was well done and much cheaper and therefore it was sold much more. It had success, that a big number of English speaking persons had a lot of information about Tarot history. And could speak about it, when Internet developed.
I met accidently Stuart Kaplan at the book fair in Frankfurt, likely in the early 90s. He told me then, that Tarot Encyclopedia I was then sold about 50.000 times. In my own edition I've a "sixth printing" in 1988. Dummett's book was much more expensive and I would guess, that it was printed 3.000-5.000, and it was sold out in the 2000s, getting fantastic prices when it was offered as a used copy.

Rosenfeld belonged to an elder generation. Tarot got new interests in the America of the 60s with the Hippies. In Germany around 1975 there was much about Tarot in the book shops. This had changed considerably in the 80s. Then was a general esoteric boom. But the quality of the produced German Tarot books was still very bad in the end of the 80s. If one was interested in Tarot history, one had to buy English books.

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot

After some time I could not join the forum due to professional and family resasons, I only can tell that at least this time period forced me to take some distance to the subject. And from that distanced point of view, I have to admit that all of the etymologies of tarocchi raised up to now –to my best knowledge- do not really satisfy me (including the one raised by myself: tarocchi -> tarh’ + occhi). Put in a hypothesis:

H1: All etymologies raised in the past w.r.t. “tarocchi” are –to my best knowledge - simply not simple enough, not striking enough, not direct enough in light of Ockham’s razor ( as a principle.

There are a lot of interesting etymologies published, also in this very forum, and they have certainly their own value at their own, but they all do not leave a striking insight in the sense of “Yes, this is clear” (at least for me – and perhaps also for others). The etymology of “tarocchi” is still “strange” (as already Lollio said), and it seems --at least for me--, that the name is so strange as if stemming from another language, since it is clearly neither directly from (renaissance) Italian, nor from French (otherwise someone would have found it out). And I do cherish the very interesting interpretation of Andrea Vitali ( and from Michael S. Howard ( that it stems from old Greek in view of tarocco – taroch - taraché (the “ch”-ending of “taroch” implying a Greek “chi”), see furthermore Andrea Vitali’s article

However, I am not satisfied with it in the sense of H1: Why should in Northern Italy normal people call a game with an old Greek naming? It is simply too far away. Otherwise said: if the game would have been called: “matto”, following the name for one card, I would directly agree: this is the simplicity I am looking for. But nothing like this in all known etymologies (at least to me humble knowledge). Perhaps now I am at the point at which most of you already arrived, I have no convincing clue.

On the other hand –and this might help the discussion--, since there is no direct etymology of “tarocchi” in the sense of H1, it means that the linguistic connection of “signifier & signified” is so loose --in the sense of the famous linguist Ferdinand de Saussure ( that “tarocchi” is the perfect projection surface for all possible interpretations – in our time and also in the renaissance time and from this time onwards. This can be said as

H2: All raised etymologies of “tarocchi” are true whenever a respective meaning could be evidenced by either a literature reference or in the image program of a respective deck.

And, as said above, there are many interesting etymologies raised which to my humble opinion have certainly their value in this light of H2, including the ones being presented in the discussion of this thread by Huck, Ross Caldwell, mikeh and the cited ones of Andrea Vitali and Michael S. Howard.

[Sideremark: For instance, I do believe that the etymology I raised of tarocchi = tarh’occhi can be evidenced by the image program of the Rosenwald deck: in every card of the trumps there is the question of balancing something out and to see or to be seen (whenever I will find time I will elaborate on this in the future).]

Even though H2 is already a relief in itself (at least for me), still H1 leaves an unsatisfactory feeling for me. I have no clue.

Should we give another try? The only thing which comes to my mind is going back to the roots.

Let’s look at the earliest mention of the full 21/22 trumps we know of: the sermon of the anonymous author in the Steele’s manuscript. This is clearly after the 14->21/22 transition. What is stated also clearly there, is that the anonymous author calls in the paragraph starting with “De tertio ludorum genere” all 21/22 tarot-trumps by their name – and calls them in the same paragraph “ludus triumphorum”.

H3: It seems that at least in Northern Italy in the 15/16th century the same game had two names: “ludus triumphorum” and “tarocchi”.

Why that? I don’t understand this.

[Sideremark: and, in my eyes, it does not help so much if you only consider the mentioned 21/22 tarot-trumps alone as a game or if you put the assumption, that the anonymous author implicitly considers the four well-known naibi suits (swords, cups, coins, batons) in addition to the mentioned 21/22 trumps for having a full 77/78 deck. In light of the fact that the sermon says in the previous paragraph starting with “De secundo ludorum genere” (which deals with the four naibi suits) that “et non potest habere desideratum […] triumphum,”, there is clearly a link of trumps and/or trumping to the 4x14 naibi deck.]

This observation, that the same game had two names as formulated in H3, can be supported when reading the list of card games mentioned by Hieronimus Cardanus (1501 -1576) in his liber de ludo alea, published postmortem (citing after the book of Schreiber 1937, p. 79, footnote 140): “[…] “Triumphi, Triumfetti, Sequantiae, sequentinum Tarochi […] ”, since we have two times diminutive forms “Triumfetti” and “sequentinum” preceded by the full form, so that one could read the list as “Triumphi, Triumfetti, Sequantiae Tarochi, sequentinum Tarochi […] ” (at least I am tempted to do so). And that the image sequence of tarocchi is a sequence in the sense of a ludus morale is obvious.

In this light: perhaps we can learn something from these two names “ludus triumphorum” and “tarocchi” for the same game by having a new look at the diminuitive form of “ludus triumphorum”: we have “Trionfi” and “Trionfi-piccoli” also by Francesco Berni in 1526 and “Triumphi” and “Triumfetti” by Hieronimus Cardanus (1501 -1576) as mentioned above (citing both after the book of Schreiber 1937, p. 79, footnote 140 and the article of Rosenfeld 1970, p.93, footnotes 72&73).

At least this might lead to a (perhaps) new hypothesis, fostering the 5 x 14 theory:

H4: the names “Trionfi/Triumphi” and “Trionfi-piccoli/Triumfetti” point at the 77/78 deck and the 70 deck, respectively: the different names mark the 14 -> 21/22 transition.

If there is a 14 -> 21/22 transition, then the “old” variant with 14 trumps is, for a certain time, very probably still in play, since people are used to it and the new variant yields an overweight of trumps for the gameplay in a certain sense. H4 might be interesting to be discussed.

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot


But this does not help with the initial problem of the etymology and why the same game bears two names after the 14 -> 21/22 transition in the 15th century in Northern Italy: “ludus triumphorum” and “tarocchi”. When browsing Steele’s article again (Steele, R. (1900). X.—A Notice of the Ludus Triumphorum and some Early Italian Card Games; with some Remarks on the Origin of the Game of Cards. Archaeologia, 57(1), 185-200.)., at least this double naming is confirmed by the Appendix V on page 197, where Steele cites the well-known article of Cicognara from 1831, p.151:
[…] principiando dai trionfi, che i Lombardi chiamino per antonomasia Tarocchi e li Francesi Atous.
[My translation: [..] starting from trionfi, which the Lombards called by antonomasia Tarocchi and the French Atous.]

[Sideremark: I didn’t know what an antonomasia is. It is, following
In rhetoric, antonomasia is a kind of metonymy in which an epithet or phrase takes the place of a proper name, such as "the little corporal" for Napoleon I. Conversely, antonomasia can also be using a proper name as an archetypal name, to express a generic idea.
A frequent instance of antonomasia in the Late Middle Ages and early Renaissance was the use of the term "the Philosopher" to refer to Aristotle. A more recent example of the other form of antonomasia (usage of archetypes) was the use of "Solons" for "the legislators" […]
In other words: if the name of the game would be the name of one card, e.g. “matto” --as mentioned above as an example for the simplicity I am looking for—it would be an antonomasia since it would use a proper name as an archetypal name.]

Hence, looking for an antonomasia goes in the right direction of research, but why should Lombards use a different name than other Northern Italians, why “tarocchi” in the sense of an antonomasia?

Let's recall: … Lombards are using the name…the etymology is “strange” (Lollio) as if it would stem from a foreign language… … …

Let’s test this hypothesis:

H5: The etymology of “tarocchi” is of Lombard language origin.

Lombard language is a Romance language (i.e. mostly stemming from Latin), following .
This does not help on first sight, because if “tarocchi” would have a Latin root --Lombard language being a Romance language as all other Northern Italian Romance languages--, then someone would have found the etymology directly.

However, when browsing, one can read
For the extinct 6th-century Germanic language, see Lombardic language.
The Lombardic language left clear traces too, as it was the variety spoken by Longobards, a Germanic population which dominated a large section of Italy, including Lombardy, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Lombardic had acted as a linguistic superstratum over Lombard, since the Longobards did not impose their language on the population. Lombardic left traces without Germanicising the local language, such that Lombard preserved its Romance nature.[
This implies that there are some Germanic traces in the Lombard language. Let’s refine H5:

H6: The etymology of “tarocchi” is of Lombard language origin, more specifically, it is a Lombardic rest in the Lombard language.

[Sideremark: as I mentioned above, I am looking for a foreign language which is geographically close: here we have one! It is even more close than I could have thought of: it is present on the soil!]

This, in turn, on second sight, might help: Me, being of German origin, asked myself as a child when learning to read: why are there “ch”-spellings which are pronounced in German as in “ich”, but others that are simply pronounced as a “k” like in “Christus”. Answer in school was: the latter stem from old Greece (“chi”), the former are of Germanic origin.

Let’s try this and turn Andrea Vitali’s and Michael S. Howard’s observation cited above on “ch” in “taroch” around:

H7: “taroch” is/was a Germanic Lombardic trace in the Lombard language.

Can we evidence H7? Difficult.

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot


Yes, we can! (astoundingly)

After some research, in the Lombard dictionary of Francesco Cherubini, entitled “Vocabolario milanese-italiano”, originally from 1814, not for “taroch”, but for “tarocch” ... ch&f=false
from page 361 (“pagina 361”) onwards, we can read five definitions of “tarocch”. All of them are very interesting, especially the first one dealing with the game directly gives lengthy details on how the game was played in different ways (and deserves a study of its own. I will abbreviate this first entry in the following):
Tarocch. Tarocco. Germini. Minchiate. Nome di un gioco notissimo, delle carte […]

Tarocch che anche dicesi Bórra. Pedale. Toppo. Tronco. Il fusto dell’albero, appena reciso, che serve per far fuoco – Anche nella Tariffa daziaria del 1725 trovasi la voce Tarocch in questo senso.

Tarocch in significato di Palpée o Tibi. V.

Tarocch fig. … la ganza, l’innamorata.

Tarocch per Tarlucch. V.
[My translation:
Tarocch. Tarocco. Germini. Minchiate. Name of an universally known game, of cards […]

Tarocch which is also called Borra. Pedal. Stump. Trunk. The tree trunk, just cut, which directly serves for making fire – also in the tax tariff table of 1725 the entry of Tarocch can be found in this sense.

Tarocch in the sense of Palpée o Tibi. V.

Tarocch fig. … the girl friend, the (female) enamoured.

Tarocch per Tarlucch. V.

The first is evidently the name of the game.

The third can be linked to the game -the entries Palpee and Tibi can be found in the dictionary (Tibi on Page 398 and Palpee, e.g. on Page 10 in the 1814 edition ... 02&f=false
The sense of both entries is that the recipient gets somehow a message as if getting a card with the message on it (direct translation for Palpee: “Valid judicial request sent by registered letter”).

The fourth entry could relate the trump of the lovers (but given is only the female part of it).

The fifth, per Tarlucch, also on page 351, indicates a person which shows “a certain inappropriate slackness in attitude, clothing and manners. This could relate to the trump of the fool (but the Tarlucch is not a fool, as far as I can interpret).

Hence, either the fourth or the fifth entry could be the antonomasia in Lombard language we are looking for – and we’re done.

What do you think?

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot


However, for me, both options are not direct enough, for me it seems, that the card game lent the name to these two meanings, it’s a dictionary of 1814.

Evidently, the interesting one for us is the second meaning:
Tarocch which is also called Borra. Pedal. Stump. Trunk. The tree trunk, just cut, which directly serves for making fire – also in the tax tariff table of 1725 the entry of Tarocch can be found in this sense.
First, we should compare it with the other naming Borra., under the question: why two names for the same object?

The Borra entry can be found under ... ra&f=false
and reads as
Borra. Pedale. Toppo.
[My translation:
Borra. Pedal. Stump.

If one compares the respective entries for Tarocch and for Borra, one realizes that the one for Borra is very short and identical with the beginning of the respective explanation of Tarocch. This very short explanation of Borra –where pedal means the foot part of the tree from latin: pes, pedis: foot, and stump clearly stands for the stump of a tree – indicates that the term Borra is quite well-known and no further explanation is needed.

The etymology of Borra is simple in the given context: evidently it stems from the latin burrus, burra, burrum, see, which means "red, reddish-brown" and stems from Ancient Greek πυρρός‎ ("flame colored"), from πῦρ ("fire"). Hence, we have a flame-coloured tree stump, i.e., a tree stump which is aflame.

[Sideremark: Note that there is a further etymology of burra in Latin, which means “A small cow with a red mouth or muzzle“, see . It is the flame-red colour of the mouth which carries over.]

Summing up: we know that we have two words for the same object:

(1) Borra with a Latin root and such a short explanation that it is a well known word in 1814 in the Romance Lombard language.

(2) Tarocch, which is so strange to the reader, that the dictionary has to tell him, that, yes, this entry had this meaning once (“also in the tax tariff table of 1725 the entry of Tarocch can be found in this sense.”). Another edition of the same dictionary (the earlier one without the nice description in detail of the card game) even tells on page 226 for the same entry “until the tax tariff table of 1725 […]”, see “fino nella” at ... ch&f=false

Hence, the word “tarocch” is very old, it is so strange, as from another language, that the entry has to explain it in detail in the year 1814.

H8: “tarocch” is of Lombardic origin in the Lombard language. This is the reason for the double naming: one with a Latin root, the other with a German Lombardic root.

And what is “tarocch” about? It is about a tree stump which is aflame, an impressive picture for the eyes. This can have its root cause by ignition by the man who just cut the tree in order to get some heat in cold times or for tree-grubbing reasons.

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot


Let us not forget that another possible reason for a tree trunc being aflame, is evidently and very impressively a natural one: lightning.

H9: “Tarocch” meant originally in Lombardic language a tree trunc being struck by lightning, resulting in a stump in flames.

[Sideremark: In this light, we should remember that trees were holy to Germans ( ... _mythology) and if lightning strikes a tree making it burn then this is a kind of double sign of holiness for the respective Germans. Hence there is some probability that H9 holds, since the word is loaded with spiritual energy, a chance to be handed down in time. If H9 does not hold, it does not interfere with the following arguments].

H10: “”tarocch” is the Lombardic onomatopoetic expression –i.e. an expression by sound-- of lightning hitting a tree, and making it burn thereafter.

[Sideremark: H10 is a little bit dared, but at least in my German ears, if I pronounce it loudly, it is exactly this sound.]

Let us now link the “tarocch”-lightning with tarocchi: as most of you know, the original name of the trump “Tower” is in the old texts “saetta” or “sagitta”: the lightning; see e.g., or refer to the anonymous author of the sermon in the Steele’s article (sagitta), or refer to Rosenfelds article, op.cit., page 90.

There are even some tarot decks that bear that name and even depict a tree being struck by lightning, see
In some Belgian tarots and the 17th century tarot of Jacques Viéville, the card is called La Foudre or La Fouldre, ("The Lightning") and depicts a tree being struck by lightning.

[Sideremark: Note that in Dummet (1980) it is discussed that Viévil's pack and the Belgian packs preserve the Milanese tradition, that is the Lombard tradition. The Lombard dictionary cited above is from Milan, which is the capital of Lombardy.]

[Sideremark: Rosenfeld points already out in 1970, p.90, that “la maison dieu” in Tarot de Marseille decks is certainly a misreading of “la main de dieu”, which means “lightning”).

Now one might ask, why the trump shows a tower in other (also early) decks?

We should not forget that a tower is a self-supporting highly erect structure, it is a tree trunk made out of stone. So we have visual proximity and symbolic proximity: when hit by lightning, it burns and is reduced to the foot part of the trunk. The trump is about lightning destroying an erect tree-like object approximating out of own force the sky/heaven – if the tower is depicted, evidently the myth of Tower of Babel plays a role. However, note that in Genesis 11:1–9 no lightning destroys the tower of Babel.

[Sideremark: even in todays English, “stump” can technically mean a stump of a tower, see]

Moreover, for a non-Lombard, the strange sound of “tarocch” might have carried over in light of Andrea Vitali’s remark on the chess term “t’arrocco”= “I castle you” ... 70&lng=ENG. A better translation would be “I tower you” when considering the etymology of the “rocco”-part: ... c75c6606c1
rocco […] anticamente La torre del giuoco degli scacchi, cosi detta dal pers. ROC, ROKH […]
[My translation:
Rocco […] in old times The tower of the chess game, named like this from Persian ROC, ROKH […]

[Sideremark: see at the bottom of ... c75c6606c1
the remark on the different use of the word rocco by Lombards (stemming from the German “Rock” (garment) for a bishop). This shows exemplarily that Lombards used words differently than other Italian dialects due to the Germanic Lombardic heritage.]

H11: The strange word “tarocch” in Lombard language is connected - imagewise and soundwise - with the Tower of the Chess game “rocco” for non-Lombards. This relationship led to different depictions: as trees struck by lightning and as towers struck by lightning.

[Sideremark: evidently, the evolution could also have been the other way: from “t’arrocco” or “tal rocco” to “tarocch”.]

[Sideremark: In the Cary sheet, there is a cow appearing at the base of the tower, as Andrea Vitali pointed out (“Nel Foglio Cary appare alla base di una torre la testa di una mucca”) in,

Note that the cow is at the base of the tower, the stump, the tarocch, and please remember the etymology of the synonym of tarocch, borra, where burra in Latin stands also for a cow with a red mouth. Recall furthermore that the Cary sheet is very probably from Milan (Dummet, 1980).

Re: Hello! - and kind question for help w.r.t. the etymology of tarot


Finally, one can ask: why should the lightning card stand for the whole tarocchi deck in the use of an antonomasia?

When considering the 14->21/22 transition, it is obvious that the new trump serves strikingly as the entry card to the new main large 14->21/22 extension of the celestial sphere –this sphere even has a distinct name in the dictionary from 1814, Aria (Stella, Luna, Sole, Mondo, Trombo; Bolognese order A), see ... ch&f=false

H12: The Lombards called the game “tarocch”with a word of Lombardic origin instead of “ludus triumphorum” in an antonomasia use, in order to put an emphasis on this new trump card of the “lightning” as the entry card to the Aria sphere and thereby to mark the 14->21/22 transition.

H13: The name “tarocch” was transferred to Italian by hardening the “cch”-sound to “cchi/o”.

H14: The name “tarocch” was transferred to French by simply leaving the Germanic “cch”-sound aside (which does not exist in French; as the French do it with “h aspiré”): “taro” – “tarau”.

This whole reasoning given above is certainly not the only truth, but at least it shows the simplicity I was looking for all the time: a card name for the whole game in a foreign language which is close. And it fulfills Cicognara’s remark: “…which the Lombards called by antonomasia Tarocchi...”

Discussions welcome.