Day 2! Still excited?
Today’s word is brush. Am I choosing words to etymologize
based on what I see around the house? Why would you think something like that?
Brush has a bunch of meanings. The kind of brush you use on
the floor or your hair, to move quickly (brush past), or bushes and shrubs. So
where do they all come from?
The first to appear was the word for greenery, and that’s basically where the other words come from
It showed up in the early fourteenth century, with the sweeping brush coming
later on in the century (and the verb of that coming almost a century later),
and the move quickly brush not showing up until the late seventeenth century.
It’s actually not a hundred percent that they are related.
Green brush comes from the Anglo French bruce
(same meaning), Old NorthFrench broche
, and Old French broce
, and all of those come from the
Gallo Roman brocia
. Before that, it might come from the Gallo Roman word brucus
, which means heather, or the same
place as the sweeper brush. That word comes from the Old French broisse
. Before that…well, it was either
the Vulgar Latin bruscia
(a bunch of shoots used to
sweep away dust) or the Proto Germanic bruskaz
, underbrush. Hm, it could
really be either one.
Last we have the quickly walking brush. Now, while it
appeared in the late seventeenth century, but there was a version of the word
(meaning to rush) in the early fourteenth century, too. It’s thought that it
comes from the idea of a horse (seriously) passing through dense woods. It
comes from the Old French brosser
travel through woods, and the Middle English brush
, an onslaught. Not that it
isn’t related to the other brushes at all, but it’s more like a third cousin or