Saturday, April 26, 2014

A-to-Z Challenge: Weak

Four left to go!

I remember how me and my friends used to use weak as an insult.

Look, were on the last letters. Im out of material.

Weak showed up in the early fourteenth century, coming from the Old Norse work veikr. That word stems from the Proto Germanic waikwaz (yield) and wikanan (bend), so something that is pliable and easy to move is weak. It can further be traced back to the Proto Indo European weik, bend or wind, and the ancestor of several words, including vicarious and weak homophone week.

Week and weak are related. I’m not even sure how to react to that. 

University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center


  1. Hi JE - I become creative at this point .. but this year I don't need to - you'll find something: your series has been fascinating to read.

    Flexibility on the seas was an essential to travel - so 'weak' cold be a strong word ... i.e. pliable and flexes as necessary ..

    Cheers Hilary

  2. I see the connections between the different weaks, but don't see how it would be related to week.

  3. So at some point, bending to yield was construed as weak.

  4. I'm running out of ideas too. These last three posts are baffling me right now. It's unusual that being weak used to mean bending and being flexible. It's got such a negative connotation now. It's also fun to see that weak and week are similar in background.

  5. Interesting post (even if you reaching desperation for ideas). It comes as no surprise that Norsemen coined the root word for "weak". Yikes! They'd recognize it in an opponent for sure. :-) Almost done for this year. Congrats--only a few to go. :-)

  6. One would think of facing the week on a Monday morning and pleading "I'm too weak to make it to Friday..."

  7. Yeah, my mind is reeling over the weak/week connection, too.

  8. Well... one week yields to the next. Or is that one week weaks to the next?

  9. Lol, I think the fact that we're all still blogging at this point is a major accomplishment! Not weak at all ;)


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