Today's Garner's Usage Tip of the Day was interesting:
A "parley" (/PAHR-lee/) is a discussion of disputed matters, especially a negotiation between warring parties to end hostilities. A "parlay" (/pahr-LAY/) is a series of all-or-nothing wagers made in hopes of eventually accumulating large winnings.
Each word is sometimes misused for the other.
This immediately made me think of Pirates of the Caribbean:
src="http://www.youtube.com/v/hH-1WVevbGQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344">
According to Garner's, then, Johnny Depp and all the rest who ask for parley in the movie are pronouncing it incorrectly. Interesting.
In the video above, Captain Jack says the French came up with parley. And, indeed, French does come up in the American Heritage Dictionary etymology for parley:
- Middle English, from the Old French parlee, from feminine past participle of parler, meaning to talk, from the Vulgar Latin paraulāre, from the Late Latin parabolāre, from parabola, meaning discourse.
And also in the etymology for parlay:
- Alteration of paroli, meaning the staking of double the sum staked before in faro, from the French, from the obsolete Italian, probably from the Italian parare, to place a bet, from the Latin parāre, meaning to prepare.
(In the third item on Answers.com, the Columbia Dictionary describes faro as: "[for Pharaoh, from an old French card design], gambling game played with a pack of 52 cards. First played in France and England, faro was especially popular in U.S. gambling houses in the 19th century. Players bet against a banker (dealer), who draws two cards-one that wins and another that loses-from the deck (or from a dealing box) to complete a turn. Bets-on which card will win or lose- are placed on each turn.")