Next comes from the Old Englishniehsta/nyhsta/nesta (it’s different
depending on which dialect you choose) which means nearest or closest and comes
from their word for nigh, neah/neh. I assume you pronounce that
like you live in New England.
So it comes from their word for nigh. Gee, I wonder if
that’s related? Of course it is. Nigh comes from the Old English neah/neh (it depends
on the dialect), which just means nigh or near.
And speaking of near,
it used to be the Old English…near.
See as it turns out, all these words used to be different versions of the same
word: nigh. They were like good/better/best, the regular word, its comparative, and its superlative, in this case nigh, nigher (near), and nighest (next). Can’t you hear it? But at some
point near and next split off and became their own words that we actually use
way more than nigh these days.
Pretty cool one this week. Don’t you agree? No? Just me
I think the middle must be the toughest part of the story.
You know, except for the rest of it.
My book is going very slowly (as I’m writing this, my word
count is ~45K). It’s kind of frustrating. I used to be able to churn out a
rough draft in under two months. Of course, none of those books are even
remotely readable, so maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. It’s just hard to keep
thinking that way when you live in a world where you’re supposed to do things
both quickly and perfectly.
It’s coming along. So I keep telling myself. I really like
how this story is shaping up. Sometimes I worry that the main character doesn’t
have enough of a personality, that it’s only the things that happen to her that
make her interesting, but that’s probably a problem for editing. And I still
like her. With all the crap going on her life, she deals with everything as
practically as she can. Including the fact that someone almost killed her. She’s
definitely someone I’m rooting for. But maybe I’m biased.
Still, there are so many things that I wonder about. Is the
story interesting enough? Am I handling it right? Will I ever actually finish?
Still having figured that one out. I have an ending in my. It’s getting to it
that need to figure out. Yeah, I know this is why people outline but I was
afraid if I stopped to do that I’d never actually get to writing. You got to
keep up the momentum, you know?
Anyway, that’s what I’m up to. How’s your writing going?
This is real. The conversation is made up because it was by text, but this actually happened.
Not kidding. A World War II grenade. It was with things belonging to my uncle who died in December, but he may have gotten it from another uncle who died twenty five years ago and just shoved it in the attic without telling anyone. If my grandparents knew about it, they didn’t tell my aunt when she and her husband bought the house from them, which seems really unlikely.
Oh, and the answer to the above question is that you call the police and they call in the bomb squad to get rid of it.
More symbols! Also
kind of a short one. I guess that’s fitting considering how long last weeks
The word four comes from the Old Englishfeower, which means four of course. Before that it was the Proto Germanicfedwor and Proto Indo Europeankwetwer. Yes, originally there was no
f in four. One theory is that it’s because of the next number (you know, five).
I don’t know how. Maybe people looked at the F in five and were like, whoa. I
The symbol’s history is a lot weirder. Even more so than 3! The
Medieval version of it looks like a ribbon,
while the Arabic version is more like a backwards 3,
or sometimes what looks like a bobby pin.
Then the Hindu version is an upside down
ribbon. And the Brahmi had a plus symbol. When it wasn’t a kind of loop, which at least might be where the upside down ribbon came from.
There’s…not really much else? Sorry. But I would like to
point out that for a while there was this post going around that said that the
symbols were all based on the number of corners they had (look at this picture for a better idea). It’s total nonsense, especially since most of the symbols
aren’t how we really write the numbers. Especially nine. Come on, who puts a
spiral at the end of 9 just so it has more angles to it? Who writes them all
You know, like who, what, where, when, why, which, and how.
Maybe we’ll get an explanation as to why how is the only one not beginning with
W. Why don’t we change that?
Who comes from the Old Englishhwa, which could also mean someone or anyone as well as who. It’s from the Proto Germanichwas and earlier, the Proto Indo Europeankwo-, which was the source of a lot of interrogative pronouns, as we’re about to see. No explanation as to why it switched from K to H, but it
does seem like the H to W thing is just because the former has softened over
the years. And whom is from the same place, just via hwam,
which is another version of hwa.
What is from the Old English hwaet, where it
could mean what but also who, something...and hark.
It’s from the Proto Germanic hwat,
which you may recognize as what with the first two letters switched, and the
Proto Endo European kwod, which is a
form of kwos. Another form for who.
Why comes from the Old English (again) hwi, which
was a form of hwaet called the instrumental case.
Instrumental is an old grammar form that appeared in Old English (Russian
actually still has it) that indicates indirect receivers of action, objects of
prepositions, or that a thing is being used. Basically why comes from a form of
what that isn’t used anymore and as we all know it comes from the word for who.
Although Proto Indo European also had a version of why, kwi, again, another version of kwo.
Okay, you can probably guess at least some of this one.
Where comes from the Old English hwaer, which
means where. No surprises here. It’s
from the Proto Germanic hwar, which
is from, all together now, kwo. Are you beginning to see a pattern?
I probably don’t even need to look this one up to guess, but
here we go. When is from the Old English whaenne, which means
when as a direct question. It’s from
the Proto Germanic hwan-/hwa- which… looks very familiar. Dammit,
it’s the same one as before and it’s from kwo-.
I’m no longer expecting anything new. Which was hwilc/hwaelc in Old English, and was
actually short for hwi-lic, “of what
form”. So yeah. Hwi again. And the lic means body (body/form) and is where like comes
from. Hwi-lic comes from the Proto Germanic hwa-lik-,
and we all should know by now that hwa/hwi comes kwo-.
How comes from the Old English hu, just how. Before that, it’s
the Proto Germanic hwo and of course
Proto Indo European kwo. No clue as to why this one stuck with H while none of
the other ones did. Just weird I guess.
tl;dr: All question words go back to kwo-. It is the one
I found a game. In it, all you do is search through a pile
of keys and try them in a lock until one fits. Then you leave and see how many
tries it took you.
That’s it. Seriously.
It’s the stupidest, most pointless game ever. The controls
are wonky (don’t knock a key off the cliff before you’ve tried it), it’s not a
particularly attractive game, and there’s literally nothing to do except put
keys in the lock.
So why can’t I stop
Have you ever been unable to stop doing anything pointless?
What’s the most addictive dumb game you’ve ever found?
Neither reluctance nor reluctant are very old, bothhaving showed up in the mid seventeenth century. Now reluctant used to mean unwilling, pretty
close to what we use it for, but reluctance specifically meant the “act of
struggling against” when it first came into being and it wasn’t until a couple
of decades later that it meant unwillingness to do something. And also it comes
from an awesome word that we don’t use anymore, reluct, which means struggle or
Reluct (why don’t we have it anymore??) comes from the
classical Latinreluctari, which means to resist, not a huge leap.
It’s a combination of the prefix re-, against, and luctari, struggle, so
it actually makes sense. And hey, if you’re reluctant to do something you’re
definitely going to struggle against it, right? Luctari can actually be traced
all the way back to the Proto Indo Europeanlug-to, bent. Okay, that one I can’t
figure. Bending something is a struggle? I guess if it’s not very bendable. I
don’t know what it could be referring to, though. Not metal, as Proto Indo
European is like fifty five hundred years old and that’s way before metalwork
I’m reading too much into this. It went from bent to
unwilling. Let’s leave it at that.
And now the conclusion. Of words that end in -cence but
aren’t related to essence. I have to be specific because there are a ton of
those and none of them are mentioned here.
Convalescence is one of those words that the N was just kind
of thrown in there at some point, which seems to be a recurring theme for these
words. It’s from the Middle Frenchconvalescence and Late Latinconvalescentia, regaining of health.
It comes from the classical Latinconvalescere, recover, the origin word for convalesce, which we don’t really use that much these days.
It’s a mix of the prefix com-, although that’s just an intensifier here,
and valescere, grow strong. That word
is actually related to valere, to be
strong/healthy, which just happens to be the origin word for valiant.
Reminiscence first showed up in the late sixteenth century from the Middle French reminiscence and
Late Latin reminiscentia, remembrance
or recollection. That in turn is from the classical Latin reminiscentem, recollecting and reminisci, also recollecting.
The word is a mix of re-, again,
and menisci, which is from mens, or
mind. So it’s to mind again.
Or…remind. Man, you don’t often get one that makes total sense no matter how
you look at it.
Magnificence showed up in the mid fourteenth century from the Old Frenchmagnificence, splendor, nobility, or
grandeur, and before that, it was the classical Latin magnificentia, which meant splendor or beautiful (something nice,
is what I’m getting at). Magnificentia comes from magnificus, majestic,
a word that’s a mix of magnus, great, and facere, do or make.
Magnificence is something that was made great.
TL;DR: Still none of these words are related. And every
other -cence word is related to essence.
You know what you should do when you have a million things
on your plate? Take on more work!
No, wait. That’s the opposite of what you’re supposed to do.
Liz and I want to do a series of posts next month about a lot of important topics--basically anything that’s been thrown under the bus by the current people in power, you know, like the arts, healthcare, basic human decency. If anyone wants to contribute on a topic or topics they’re passionate about we’d love for you to join in, just let me know.
Anyway, now I have to go off and write about a million posts.
There are a ton of words that end in -cense or -cence. Like, this is definitely a two-parter. And we’re not even getting into words like luminescence or iridescence since those are related to essence and a whole other post on their own.
License is kind of funny. It showed up in the early fifteenth century as a verb that meant to grant authorization to do something. No big surprises there. But it comes from a noun that’s spelled licence, with two C’s (which, frankly, just accentuates how stupid and redundant C is). Apparently there were tons of spellings for the word in Middle English, including lisence, lissens, and licance, which exemplifies why we had to start formalizing spellings. Anyway, licence is spelled that way because it comes from the Old Frenchlicence, liberty, freedom, or permission, which in turn comes from the classical Latinlicentia, which means the same thing, in other words, a license. The verb form of it, licere (to allow) can be traced back to the Proto Indo Europeanleik-, to offer or bargain. Which…makes sense, I guess.
Innocence showed up in the mid fourteenth century meaning specifically the “freedom from guilt or moral wrong”. It comes from the Old French inocence, innocence, and classical Latin innocentia/innocens, which are just innocence and innocent. When you break up the word and look at its roots, it gets seven better. The in- means not in this case, while the centia/cens part of the word comes from nocere, hurt. That fits since innocence is non-harming, right? Well, nocere comes from the Proto Indo European nek-, which means…death. It’s where necro- comes from!
Incense first showed up in the late thirteenth century meaning something that gave off a sweet scent when burned. It comes from the Old French encens, from the Late Latinincensum, that which is burnt. That in turn is from the classical Latin incendere, to burn, which might sound an awful lot like incendiary to you. And it should, since that word is from the same place. This time the prefix in- means in while the rest is from candere, shine, glow, or be on fire. And of course that’s where candle comes from. It can also be traced all the way back to the Proto Indo European kand-, glow or shoot out light. So light = fire = stuff burning.
TL;DR: None of these words are related. Like, at all.
Various random jokes. The most popular recurring characters
are the bear Ernesto and his friend Kevin the bird, as well as Trash Bird, who
is just Trash Bird. Look, it’s really hard to explain and totally ridiculous.
Just check it out.
Apparently the creator just wanted to use the longest name
she could find. In any case, she’s hilarious. Her creature “selfie bee” is a
kind of author avatar that reflects her often ridiculous reactions (like
promising not to buy more books and then leaving the bookstore later wearing a
sash that says “Mayor of Failuretown”). Also, for Harry Potter fans, she does
tons of spoofs of the series, especially of Dumbledore being just the worst
person to be in charge of children.
Things that happen to Adam totally overdramatized,
flamboyant, and hilarious. I think my favorite is the one where the cat is
asleep all day, until three a.m. when he’s going totally crazy. It’s very
Another comic where the typical things that happen to the
creator are exaggerated to hilarious levels. I think that might be my favorite
type of comic. The best ones to check out is the comics she drew while staying
up for thirty two hours in order to fix her sleep schedule. It’s basically a
decent into madness.
Anyway, that’s what I read all day. I like comics. What
Organ…it can be something you play, or a part of your body that keeps you alive. Why is that?
Organ is actually a fusion—seriously. The Old Englishorgane and Old Frenchorgenecame together to form a stronger, more powerful word than either could be separately. Both words had the same meaning, a musical instrument, and both come from the classical Latinorganum, instrument. Latin stole it from Greek, where it’s organon, which means instrument in a very general sense, not just musical. And back then it could be a tool or a body organ, which means that over the years it changed from having several definitions to only meaning musical instruments and then went back to having several definitions, including one very specific musical instrument. I think it’s funny that organon comes from the Proto Indo Europeanwerg-ano-, which comes from werg-, to work, because that makes way more sense as an origin for these words.
And it’s not the only word originally music related. Take organic. It showed up in the early sixteenth century meaning serving as a musical instrument, coming from the classical Latin organicus and Greek organikos, and while bothmean organic, both also originally had to do with instruments, not what we think of organic as. In fact, it wasn’t until the late eighteenth century that it applied to living beings (although they used “organical” for that before, and tell me that word isn’t funny).
Finally today we’re looking at organize. It showed up in the early fifteenth century meaning construct or establish, which makes it weirder that organized originally specifically meant “furnished with organs”. It came from the Middle Frenchorganizer and Medieval Latinorganizare, which in turn is from our old friend organum. Okay, I can almost get how it went from construct to put into order, but I have no idea how we’re supposed to get from instrument to construct/establish. Makes. No. Sense.
A couple of years ago, I talked about how there was a blood drive where they gave away Girl Scout cookies to anyone who donated. Obviously I was all over that. And they do it every year, so of course I’ve been there each time. But there was a slight problem this time.
We’re in the second half of the year now. I wonder what I’ll look at when I’m finally done. Maybe we should add more months because I have no ideas.
July is kind of an easy one since it was named for Julius Caesar because whoop-die-doo, it was the month he was born in. It was actually the fifth month in the Roman calendar, which is why before that it was calledQuintilis, which means fifth and honestly is just a way cooler name. I think it’s the Q.
Anyway, it was Iulius in Latin, then Juil/Jule in Old French and Julie in Anglo French before English picked it up. Funnily enough, we in English used to spell it with an I, like in Latin, and pronounce it with the accent on the first syllable, making it something like “YU-lie”. And there is no reason for why it changed other than the Oxford English Dictionary calling it “abnormal and unexplained”, the most accurate description relating to etymology that I’ve come across.
And there’s a little more to the story than that since we had to have a name for the month in Old English before we started using the one passed down by the French. July used to beliða se aefterra, which is something like “later mildness”. I wish I could have found out more about this, but unfortunately it seems like most places are only interested in the Roman origins rather than the English ones. Which seems kind of ironic considering that English is the language we’re supposed to be speaking here.
Well, February managed to be surprisingly bad. I was so stressed through most of it that I couldn’t concentrate and didn’t do a very good job on my goals. Also I went to go give blood and they told me I’m anemic and now I have to take iron. That at least explains why I’m tired all the time.
1. Another 10K. I will write this or die trying.
Sadly, I failed on both counts. I got 5K done, which isn’t the worst, but I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to die trying for the rest :P.
2. Read some new books.
Well, it wasn’t anything new, just some old favorites. This would probably be easier if I had tons of money to spend on books.
3. Organize all my stick figure comics. This is kind of hard to explain, but because it’s mostly copy and paste, I have tons of different images that I could reuse. If I was able to find them.
I actually managed to do this! It’s a miracle! And wasn’t terribly difficult. I’m hoping it being more organized will make creating those silly comics easier.
Kind of disappointing, but February was exhausting. It is truly the Monday of the months.
1. Actually write 10K this time. Or, at the very least, finish last month’s 10K.
2. See if I can by that book I want to read for research. And, you know, read it.
3. Try to think up something fun to do. Because we could all use a little fun right now.
So hopefully, that’s what my March will be like. What do you want to do this month?
We’re looking at pant, and also pants, because seriously what the hell is up with that? Am I the only one that wonders why the word for the thing you wear on your legs is related to a word for heavy breathing? I am? Oh well, it’s my blog.
Pant showed up in the mid fifteenth century, believed to be from the Old Frenchpantaisier, which basically means pant. It’s believed to come from the Vulgar Latinpantasiare, to struggle with a nightmare. Uh, you breathe heavily during a bad dream I guess? And that word just happens to be from the Greek phantasioun, imaginary, the origin word for phantasm.
Yes, you read right. Pant and phantasm are related. Man, this post couldn’t get any weirder.
Pants showed up in 1840. That’s about it, because it comes from the ridiculous word pantaloons, which actually does have a history. It showed up in the mid seventeenth century where it just meant a kind of tights. Apparently it’s related to a sixteenth century character in an Italian comedy called Pantaloun who wore tight trousers and whose name actually comes from San Pantaleone, a Christian martyr.
Okay, I spoke too soon earlier because seriously. What. The. Hell.
Of all the yearly resolutions I made, meaning able to leave the planet is the one I wanted to keep the most but never thought I would.
There are seven planets circling this tiny little barely bigger than Jupiter star, including three that could possibly support life! Plus it’s only forty lightyears away. Which is 235,100,000,000,000 miles. Someone really needs to get to work on making Warp Drive.
Not that living there will be entirely perfect. They might be tidally locked to the sun, like the moon is to the Earth, which means the same side is always facing it. So on one side it’s day all the time and the other is night all the time, with perpetual twilight around the middle. That actually makes for extreme weather conditions, plus the three planets that possibly have water are so hot that they probably don’t have much. Still sounds better than Earth right now, though.
These planets are so cool. All seven of the orbiting planets are closer to their star than Mercury is to the sun, so close in fact that their orbits are mere Earth days. They’re also so near each other that you can see the other planets like we see the moon. Well, probably. They don’t know what the atmospheres are made of. For all we know they’re impossible to see off of.
What do you guys think about the new planets? Any sci-fi-y ideas about what they might be like?
A lot of different words spawned from ers-. There’s obvious ones like error, but others that you’ll be going, like, whoa. First of all, error (which was also spelled errour up until the eighteenth century) showed up around the same time as err, the fourteenth century, where it meant a mistake. It comes from the Old French error and classical Latin errorem, which means error as well as going astray, meandering or doubt, and is related to errare. This one actually makes sense since that was kind of ers- literal meaning.
Next, erratic. It showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning wandering or moving, not taking on its modern definition until the seventeenth century. It’s from the Old French erratique (the q makes it sound cooler), wandering of vagrant, and classical Latin erraticus, erratic or wandering. And of course that’s from errare. So is errant, kind of. It’s really confusing, but apparently there were two Old French words spelled errant and one comes from the above mentioned errer while the other is actually related to the Latin ire, to go. Which is not related to the other ire that means anger. Anyway, the two errants, despite having differing origins, got fused together even though they started out completely different. People really should have been more careful about that.
There are several other words related to err in some way, as well as a few that aren’t even though it would make sense. Like errand. You’d think it would have something to do with that wander, but it doesn’t. It’s from the Old Englishaerende, message or errand, which is Germanic in origin. On the other hand, aberration is from err. It showed up in the sixteenth century meaning a wandering/act of straying and comes from the classical Latin aberrationem, which could mean aberration or go astray. The ab- part means away from and the rest is from errare. Finally, the word race. Yes, it’s from err. At least the kind you run is. However I think that word should probably make up its own post on another day : ).
This woman was married to a shipping tycoon! You don’t see
many tycoons these days. Too bad. It’s a fun word to say. How does one get to be a tycoon anyway? I don’t think this
counts as a cancer widow, though, since she just has “a very critical health
FUBAR! Also I love the emojis.
I won the Asian Google Sweepstakes again. How do I keep
getting entered in this thing?
A Work-load part time job, as opposed to a non-Work-load
part time job. Get $350 a week! You’re not using both kidneys, right?
Damn my Nigerian partners. I told them to kill this guy
after he transferred the money to my account. Doesn’t anybody listen anymore?!
It’s been so long since I’ve gotten one of these
pills-from-a-Canadian-pharmacy messages filled with random words that form nonsensical
sentences. I still find them hilarious.
I can’t believe I haven’t done the word tact before. Not that it’s some major important word or anything. It just really feels like I’ve done it. Is this déjà vu? Déjà écrit?
Just plain tact showed up in the mid seventeenth century as a sense of touch or feeling, more literal as opposed to the more figurative sense it has today. It comes from the classical Latintactus, touch, so no big surprises there. It does come from tangere, to touch, which is the origin word for tangent which was kind of surprising. There’s no real reason as to why tangent changed so much, but apparently tangentem also means tangent so that weirdness goes all the way back. Tactile also comes from this line, via the French tactile and Latin tactilis, of touch. Since something that you can touch is tangible, that’s where we get that word. Damn, this makes tangent mean even less sense.
There are plenty of other tact words out there. Tactics showed up in the early seventeenth century, a hundred and forty years before tactic. They both come from the Latin tactica, which comes from the Greek taktike techne, which literally means regular art. I’m not even sure how to react to that. It is related to taktikos, regular or arranged, which can relate to war tactics, so that’s where that comes from. In any case, you’ll notice that tactic doesn’t come from the same word as tact. At least, not in Latin. They are related earlier, in Proto Indo European, where taktikos and tangere come from tag-, to set in order. Well, that’s where the regular part comes from.
Finally, there are the words that end in tact. Like intact. I didn’t mean to do that, it was just a coincidence. It showed up in the mid fifteenth century coming from the classical Latin intactus, untouched. That’s because in- is a weird prefix that can mean not, like it does here, or into. Since tactus is touched, then we have untouched, and something intact is I guess at least metaphorically untouched. Next is contact, which showed up in the early seventeenth century from the Latin contactus, which means touching. Or, you know, contact. Con- means together here, so touching together. Yeah, kind of ended on a well, duh note here.
Personally, I have no trouble with being more accessible to
people who need it. If there was an actual problem with my blog, then I would
work on fixing it. But!
My spam senses were tingling when I read this, for several
reasons. First of all, this person mentioned that this was a follow up to a
message I don’t remember seeing before, a trope so common that I put it on Spam
Bingo. Next is the fact that I don’t actually have a link to that website.
Hell, that link to my archive they have doesn’t even exist because I never
posted on June 1, 2015. Unless they’re talking about January 6, 2015, which I did post on, although I never use that date format. And also does not have any
calendar links on it. (It was actually my resolutions post for the year)
So, yeah. Pretty suspicious, “Amanda Soriano”. I didn’t
click on the links they included (who knows where they really led), but I did
look up the places they linked to. WebAIM is a real thing to check web page
accessibility and The Time Now is a digital calendar. I guess this was some
sort of campaign to get people to use one or the other. Or both. If so, it was
a very poor one because it is very scammy in nature. The only thing less
trustworthy is a robo call from the IRS asking you to pay an overdue tax bill
with Best Buy gift cards.
That actually happened. It was reported in the paper. People
fell for it, so maybe this isn’t so far off the mark.
Anyway, keep an eye out for scams and don’t ever click on
any links in an email even if it looks like it’s to a legitimate site. This has
been a public service message brought to you by scammers and the fact that I
had nothing else to post about.
Ultimate showed up in the mid seventeenth century,
coming from the Late Latinultimatus and its verb form ultimare. Before that it’s from the
classical Latin ultimus, last,
which is related to ultra, more.
You might not believe this, but that word happens to be the origin word for
ultra. I know. It’s pretty tough to believe.
I know you can’t see it, but I’m rolling my eyes.
We can go even further with ultra, all the way back to the
Proto Indo Europeanol-tero-. The ol- gives us the beyond
part as it comes from al-, which has
given us words like alias and else.
Yeah. Ultimate is (distantly) related to else and alias. Who knew?
Of course, there are a few other ultimate words in English.
Did you know there used to be a “yesterday” for months? It was the word ultimo, coming from the Latin phrase ultimo menses, or last month.
It was in use from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries and then…I guess we got bored of it? That happens sometimes. There’s also
penultimate, which comes from penultima, a word that showed up in the late sixteenth century and means the next to last syllable in a word.
It’s from another Latin phrase, penultima
syllaba, literally penultimate syllable.
The ultima comes from ultimate, while the pen is from paene, almost.
Penultimate is…almost last.
Today we’re looking at vary and all its…variations. Sorry.
Couldn’t avoid that pun. And didn’t want to.
Vary showed up in the fourteenth century from the Old Frenchvariier, change or alter, and
classical Latinvariare, to change. So yeah, vary always meant change. It’s
believed to be related to varus,
which has definitions like different, bent, and knock-kneed (-_-). It’s from
the Proto Indo Europeanwer-, a bodily infirmary, usually a
raised spot on the body. You know, like a wart. Which makes sense because wer-
is the origin word for wart.
This post took a very strange turn, but it can’t be helped.
Keep in mind that wart has a completely different origin after wer-. It was warton in Proto Germanic and waert in Old English afterwards. Verruca,
another word for wart, is actually closer to vary, and not because it starts
with the same letter. Other distantly related words include varicose,
which comes from the Latin varicosus,
which actually means multicolored in addition to dilated veins. It’s from varicis, which also means wart and is probably related to the aforementioned varus.
Please look at these actual factual reasons people were committed to an asylum in the late nineteenth century.
I’m not even sure where to begin. First of all, how many of these are just being a woman who’s in her husband’s way? Female disease and woman trouble, ill treatment by husband (like, you know, being involuntarily committed), imaginary female trouble, hysteria. And of course rumor of husband murder. And maybe it’s my uterine derangement talking, but isn’t involuntary confinement what being committed to an asylum all about?
Plus there’s things beyond that that are totally objective. Politics, political excitement, religious enthusiasm, superstition, over action of the mind, and about a million other things that you can claim of anyone you don’t like. You better not study hard because if you do, bam, you’re getting committed. Don’t read any novels, either.
In truth, it’s actually a list of why some people were committed, i.e. their relatives said these were symptoms of their mental illness. Still though. People pretty much used anything as an excuse. Although shooting your daughter is a pretty good reason for being locked up.