Lately I have seen people using umbrellas as a protection from the sun. And it seems to me they should be effective sunshades if the name is anything to go by. After all, the word umbrella comes from the Latin umbra, shade.
But to me an umbrella isn't primarily a shade-provider, it's a protection from rain. So I've been wondering why we don't have the same type of word the Germans do - Regenschirm. My possibly not-too-accurate translation is rain- screen. The idea of screening someone from something is echoed in the word Sonnenschirm for parasol. (I reckon that's probably sun -screen.) And then we come to Fallschirm for parachute - fall-screen? Hmm...that seems useful - something to make sure you glide down and don't fall down.
Seeking some information about the word umbrella, I visited Podictionary, where the author, Charles Hodgson, says:
The word came from Italy where it is not notoriously rainy; but rather is more notorious for being sunny. So it makes sense that the Italian meaning of the word ombrella meant “shade.”
The podictionary article is very interesting and you can listen as well as read it.