Been tinkering with the old and tinkering with the new, and came across the odd fact that Czech apparently has two words for icicle, neither of which is etymologically related to the word for ice. There's one from a word possibly meaning "drip" or "flow," and another related to the word "roof."
That got me thinking about the English word icicle, which seemed odder to me the more I looked at it. -icle is familiar to me as a Latinate diminuitive suffix (test-, veh-, etc.) but ice isn't a Latinate word, it's Germanic.
Turns out, according to Merriam-Webster, that the -icle part comes from Middle English ikel from Old English gicel, meaning icicle; cognate to a German ihilla with the same meaning that's no longer extant in Modern German, which has, if I'm not mistaken, Eiszapf "ice-spike."
So somehow English ended up with a Latin-seeming but very Germanic word for icicle that means "ice-icicle." Presumably the -ikel lost some of the semantics of icicle itself and was strengthened by the first "ice." I suppose I would guess that it was due to interference from the Latin suffix that confused me.
Next post: how did stalactite and stalagmite end up with their roof-floor differentiations in meaning, since they're from the same damn Greek verb?