What’s this? My April Goals…in March? What insanity is this?
Well, it’s because the A-to-Z Challenge starts on Friday and
the first Tuesday in April, which is normally reserved for my goals’ post, is
an etymology post starting with the letter E. I mean, sure, I could double
post, but then I would have to think up another post for here, wouldn’t I?
Okay, let’s see how I did last month. Which is this month.
1. Finish the pattern (again! Like I never work on it!). All
work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
I…actually did it. Honest and
truly. I even printed it out. It’s done and I…I’m getting a little overcome
with emotion right now. Onto the next.
2. Write! Please this time!
No : (, at least nothing that
was FUN to write. Sigh…
3. Get all my Challenge posts set up so they’re ready to
post. Hey, I might actually be able to do this one!
Yes, I did it! As you will see starting
Not bad! I feel like I actually accomplished something this
month. So onto April…
1. The Challenge! Visit at least five new blogs every day.
At least finding new ones won’t be a problem!
2. The pattern is done, so do some actual writing this time,
3. Spring Cleaning. Yeah, I’m making this a goal. Might as
well have an easy one :P.
So that’s my plan for April. What about you? Anything
interesting going on?
It’s when you start to break up the words that things get interesting. The prefix per- means strongly or thoroughly while the end of the word comes from suadere, which also means persuade. And dissuade, with the dis- prefix, just means persuade against. Still sensible! But then you look at suadere. It comes from the Proto Indo Europeanswad-, which means…sweet.
Sweet. I’m not kidding here. And where do you think the word sweet comes from? Yep, swad. Sweet is descended from the Old Englishswete, which is just sweet with the letters switched around. Before that, it’s the Proto Germanicswotja, which in turn comes from swad. Now, the word swad was used for pleasant things in general, not just things that tasted sweet, but it still seems kind of weird that it went from that to persuade. Maybe because you persuade people with sweet words? I guess that might make sense…
It’s almost here! Just over a week away now! And here’s my Theme Reveal post, which is why I’m posting a day early.
Come on. You know what I’m doing. It’s the same thing I did last year, and the year before that. It’s the same thing I do every Thursday pretty much without exception.
I love etymology. I think it’s fun and weird and interesting. The most bizarre words are related—black and bleach come from the same place, but ass (butt) and ass (donkey) do not. What the frigging HELL.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg of bizarre things that are true about the words we say. So yes, I’m doing it again, and I can only assume I’ll do it again next year and the year after that and the year after that. Because it’s cool and there are plenty of subjects to analyze and also I don’t have to come up with any other post ideas for a month.
There you have it. Are you doing a theme for the Challenge this year? Are you doing the Challenge at all? What else do you have planned for April?
This week: serve and words that end in -serve. I think you’ll be pleasantly amused at how ridiculous it is. I know I was.
Serve showed up in the late twelfth century, coming from the Old Frenchservir and classical Latinservire, both of which basically mean to serve. Now, it’s related to servus, slave, but it doesn’t seem to be related to the suffix -serve. Serve has no further origin, although it might be Etruscan, and -serve has a different history (you’ll see in a minute). They still might be related, but unfortunately I don’t know enough ancient Latin to be sure.
Next, we’re looking at deserve, the only -serve word that’s related to serve. It showed up in the early thirteenth century from the Old French deserver and classical Latin deservire, serve well. The de- prefix here means completely because prefixes are stupid sometimes, so “serve completely” makes sense. And apparently the idea of being served well transformed into being entitled to good service, and that’s why we have deserve.
Observe showed up in the late fourteenth century, coming from the Old French observer/osserver, which is just observe. That of course comes from the classical Latin observare, which has meanings that range from observe to guard to heed. It’s a ranged word, is what I’m saying. It’s a mix of the prefix ob-, over, and servare, save, keep, or preserve. So it’s to over save? Anyway! Servare can be traced to the Proto Indo Europeanser-, to protect. And it doesn’t seem to be related to serve. Man, how weird.
Next, reserve. It showed up in the mid fourteenth century and it has a fairly similar origin as observe. It comes from the Old French reserver, withhold, and before that the classical Latin reservare, reserve or hold back. The re- prefix is the back part, and with the save/keep of servare, it’s literally “keep back”. Well, at least that makes sense.
Conserve also showed up in the late fourteenth century, coming from the Old French conserver and classical Latin conservare, which means (dramatic pause)…conserve. Yeah, not a lot of stretching with this word. Anyway, the prefix con- (from com-) is just an intensifier here—amusing aside: several common prefixes can also be intensifiers; I wonder how they decided when to use the actual meaning of the prefix and when to use it as word frosting. So with sevare, to keep, this word is to really keep. Not just save it, but conserve it.
TL;DR: Serve and deserve aren’t related to observe, reserve, preserve and conserve because words are freaking stupid.
Look, sometimes it’s hard to come up with a post idea.
I’m wondering what kind of product he wants me to supply him with. Is it meth? Like some Breaking Bad thing? Because I could get in on that.
I actually googled Nokia and Microsoft to see if they were affiliated and it turns out, they are! Microsoft actually bought Nokia. And nearly every link had words like “disaster” and “loss” and “failure” in them, so it goes to show how well that went. Basically, they should not be giving away money in lotteries.
I’m not sure which joke to make here. How about that the name at the top is “Oaks Chambers”, the most not-name I’ve heard made out of real words (and also different from the name at the bottom; real officious). Or I could make fun of the disclaimer that comes with it, which says “any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance”. So many options!
Well, it’s really easy to make predictions about 2015 when it’s currently 2016.
So that’s it for today. What are your 2015 predictions? : )
I actually did words that end in -clude last year, namely conclude, preclude, include and seclude. So now we’re doing words that are just -lude. I wonder if there’s any etymological relation! Ha ha, just kidding. I’m sure there isn’t.
Elude first showed up in the mid sixteenth century meaning delude or a make a fool of, not meaning evade until a century later. It comes from the classical Latineludere, parry or evade. It’s a mix of the prefix ex-, out, and ludere, play—the origin word for ludicrous. No, not Ludacris. That’s something else entirely. Anyway, I’m not really sure about the evolution from play + out to evasion. Maybe because if you outplay someone you’re evading them?
Next, delude, which has a very similar history. It showed up in the early fifteenth century from the classical Latin deludere, which could mean “to play false”, to trifle with, or to mock or deceive. The de- prefix here means down in a metaphorical sense. I guess playing down at someone is deluding them. It almost makes sense.
Prelude showed up at about the same time elude did, in the mid sixteenth century. It actually comes from the Middle Frenchprelude, which meant an instrumental prelude. Before that it was the Medieval Latinpreludium, preliminary, and classical Latin praeludere, play before for practice or preface. The prae- is pre-, before, making this one literally “play before”. Okay, now this one definitely makes sense. It’s a miracle! And it’s the same with interlude, where inter- just means between, so it’s between the play.
Collude showed up in the early sixteenth century, but collusion showed up even earlier, in the late fourteenth century. Collude comes from the classical Latin colludere, play with, while collusion has a bit longer of a journey. It comes from the Old Frenchcollusion and classical Latin collusionem, collusion. But that word just comes from colludere, a mix of the prefix com-, together. So when you’re colluding with someone, you’re playing together. Sure.
Finally today, we’re looking at allude. Like most of the words here, it showed up in the mid sixteenth century, coming from the Middle French alluder and classical Latin alludere, which meant allude in the figurative sense but also to play or joke in a more literal one. The prefix comes from ad-, to, so it’s to to play. Or to play to? Either way, I’m not really sure how one leads to the allude we know…
Weird searches! I love these. Finding out what people search for on the internet is always an interesting experience. And it’s been a while since we’ve done one of these. This is the first one in 2016!
How to tie a tie. Fair enough. It’s hard. How to be single. Don’t get why you have to ask that, but whatevs. How to screenshot on a Mac. I get it, Apple is confusing when you’re used to Windows. But. But. How to get away with a murderer. Not like the show, How to Get Away With Murder. With a murderer. Anyone else freaked out about this?
Is it possible to sleep too much? I’d like to be the test case for finding out.
It is possible to time travel. We do it all the time, going forward in time at the speed of regular time.
Sorry buddy, you’ve got herpes for life. Also, you probably shouldn’t be asking the internet if there’s a god. It’s probably not the best source.
A broken heart is best fixed by lots of ice cream. And revenge. Also, seriously, if you broke your toe, go to the frigging emergency room, what the hell, why are you looking this up online. Get a doctor.
Today we’re looking at the origins for words of angry
feelings because why not?
Anger showed up in the early thirteenth century as a verb and then as a noun in the mid thirteenth century, but back then it
meant more to annoy or to be in anguish rather than how we use anger, which
didn’t start until a century later. The noun is from the Old Norseangr (cool word, right?) and the verb
angra, both of which are closer to
the annoy/distress definition anger used to have. Both Norse words come from
the Proto Germanicangus, which comes from the ProtoIndo Europeanangh-, painfully constricted. Interesting how it didn’t change
definitions until so much later. At least this one kind of makes sense.
Now, mad has two meanings, one meaning insane and one
meaning angry. The insane one showed up first, in the late thirteenth century,
and then in the early fourteenth century it started to mean “beside oneself
with excitement” and then “beside oneself with anger”. Apparently replaced an
Old English word for mad, wod,
which was also spelled wood. And before you ask, no it’s not related to trees in any way.
Going back to mad, it comes from the Old English gemaedde, out of one’s mind or foolish/stupid. That word comes from
the Proto Germanic ga-maid-jan and ga-mai-az, abnormal. The ga- part is an intensive prefix, while
the rest comes from the Proto Indo European moito,
the past participle of mei-, to
change. So change became abnormal became insane became angry. Sure. Why not.
Fury showed up in the late fourteenth century,
coming from the Old Frenchfurie/fuire, rage or fenzy, and classical Latinfuria, fury. Yes, it’s related to the mythological furies, but no, there’s no real explanation as to why. The word is erinyes in Greek, where it comes from. Not an f in sight! Anyway, furia has
a verb form in furere, which can mean
rage or even heat. But don’t go
thinking that word is related to fire or anything. No, fire comes from a word that starts with p.
Rage of course also has some weirdness to it. It actually
showed up in the mid thirteenth century meaning play or romp, which is especially weird because pretty much everywhere
else it has its standard definition. It comes from the Old French rage/raige and before that the Medieval Latinrabia and classical Latin rabies, which explains where that word
came from. Although not why it has a g in it.
And now, to finish things off, wrath. It comes from the Old
English wraeððu (not just one eth,
but two!), anger, and wrað, angry.
That word can also be traced to the Proto Germanic wraith-, and before you ask, no, that isn’t where wraith comes from. Don’t
go expecting etymology to start making sense. The Proto Germanic wraith-
actually comes from the Proto Indo European wreit, to
turn. The origin word for wreath.
It’s March already?! Man, for a month with an extra day in it, February went by awfully quickly. I’m beginning to think there was no bonus day at all.
Okay, what was I supposed to do last month?
1. Either finish that stupid pattern or go insane trying.
Well, I haven’t finished, so you can pretty much guess where this one’s at.
2. Maybe write this time, dang it!
Ha ha ha, no, I’ve wasted my life
3. Do all the stupid miscellaneous stuff I have to do this month, like taxes and signing up for the Challenge reveal and finally learning how to spell miscellaneous. February seems to be a popular month for all the little extras.
I did this at least. It was a busy month. I think I need a few more extra days.
Okay, so that’s last month. What about March?
1. Finish the pattern (again! Like I never work on it!). All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
2. Write! Please this time!
3. Get all my Challenge posts set up so they’re ready to post. Hey, I might actually be able to do this one!