Dear Dumb Guy: What is the origin of the Albanian language? I asked my highly educated Albanian friends here in Las Vegas, but they say they don’t know for sure. Also, did you know that ‘toes’ translates into Albanian as ‘leg fingers’; and ‘big toe’ – as ‘leg thumb’? - Lost in Las Vegas
Dear Lost: I did a little bit of research on this question – something I don’t normally need to do – and discovered that in a strange and roundabout way, you’ve answered your own question. You see, it’s the second part of your email that’s the clue …
Your whole “big toe/leg thumb” thing sounded strangely familiar to me, and when I started poking around, I realized why: It’s from Esperanto, the “universal language,” where this construct originates. It’s not just toes, but it extends to all sorts of other parts of the body. Knuckles are “finger knees,” eyes are “head cameras,” bellies are “back fronts.” And it goes without saying, of course, what a “front butt” is on a lady.
So there you have it: Esperanto came first, developed by the United Nations in the 1970s, and the Albanian language derives from it – a fork, if you will. Or, in Esperanto, “food fingers hand-stick.”