I rather doubt this 'ka' comes from any Latin phrase. It's likely the Latin was seen somewhere as an equivalent of the English (a translation, really) and mistaken for a source. According to what's legible of [1] the real etymology is unknown, and even the actual word is fudgeable. Anyone have an OED to check? —Muke Tever 00:55, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

  • According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable the quotation is from Sir Walter Scott's novel Kenilworth. It is unclear what Fricantem frica and Muli mutuo scabunt in the entry actually mean (The curse of paper dictionary telegraphese strikes again.), but the hypothesis that Brewer is giving them as the root words of the phrase is less likely than two other hypotheses (that these are the titles of works from which the phrase originates, or that these are the equivalent phrases in Latin). Uncle G 02:56, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
They are equivalent phrases: fricantem frica = rub what's rubbing [sc. you] , muli mutuo scabunt = mules scratch each other. In fact an older form of ka me, ka thee, according to the OED, is "claw me, claw thee", (incidentally, this is mentioned in my Latin dictionary under mutuum muli scabunt: [2]) and in later forms (such as this one) 'claw' for some reason was replaced by various names for the letter 'k'. Apparently the meaning isn't "serve" but "scratch", and the modern equivalent is exactly I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine.Muke Tever 03:05, 18 May 2005 (UTC)


The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

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Rfv-sense: kiloamp. Should it be kA? —Internoob (DiscCont) 23:49, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Also this should be translingual. —Internoob (DiscCont) 00:00, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I added the sense "kiloyear", which is what ka really represents. Yes, kiloamp should be at kA. -- Prince Kassad 00:35, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Already removed. [3] Closing. —Internoob (DiscCont) 03:55, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

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