Thursday, April 17, 2014

A-to-Z Challenge: Odd

Hey, A-to-Z-ers! You still hanging in there?

And now, for the word odd.

Odd first showed up in the early fourteenth century, but only as a word for an uneven number. Because an uneven number is unpaired and thus, “left out”, odd grew to mean peculiar, because obviously there’s something wrong with it if it’s unpaired. Anyway, odd comes from the Old Norse oddi, which figuratively means something like third or a tie-breaker (as in a vote), but literally means an angle or point of land (apparently, the notion of a triangle morphed it into that third definition, which is, shall we say, an odd transformation). Oddi comes from the Proto Germanic word uzdaz, pointed upward, and further back, the Proto Indo European uzdho-.

University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center


  1. Being interested in etymology is odd. :P

  2. I've always liked the word "odd." Don't know why exactly. Does that make me odd? :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

  3. And yet another thing that math has given us...

    I am followed by a preponderance of odd numbers. Driver's licence. Soc. Sec. Number. Student ID. Licence plate. Birthdate. It's kind of scary, really.

  4. Adding math to etymology is odd. (Yes I know, I'm being obnoxious.) I never thought that odd would mean something like this.

  5. Thaws pretty cool history behind odd.

  6. Ah yes, of course oddi comes from uzdaz. Naturally ;)

  7. Interesting how it also came to mean peculiar.


Please validate me.