Saturday, August 26, 2017


Eating cake for birthday.

Eating all cake in world.

Many single panel comics to follow.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Language of Confusion: Meanness

Mean has…wow, a lot of really different definitions. Like it can mean average, or intention, or someone who’s acting like a jerk. Which one should we look at first?

The one that means intention doesn’t have a real show up date, so it might be the oldest or it might not be. It comes from the Old English maenan, which could mean say or relate (makes sense!) or mourn or lament (this one, not so much). Before that it was the West Germanic mainijan and the Proto Indo European meino-, intent. And it’s not related to the other means at all because why would it. That would make sense.

The mean with the earliest known date showed up in the thirteenth century and actually meant low quality, although before that it meant shared by all. I guess something shared by all is low quality? Originally it was imene, coming from the Old English gemaene, in common or united. It’s from the Proto Germanic ga-mainiz, possessed jointly. And if you thought it was weird that there was a g at the beginning, well in Proto Indo European it was ko-moin-i-, held in common, a word related to the word mei-, change or move. Anyway, that whole low quality thing gave us a mean that meant inferior or second rate, which changed to mediocre, then inferior, then nasty, then “disobliging or pettily offensive”. And that’s why we have mean.

The average mean first showed up as a noun in the early fourteenth century, and then as an adjective in the mid fourteenth century, and as a math term in the late fourteenth century. These words are French in origin, coming from the Anglo French meines and Old French meien. That in turn comes from the Late Latin medianus and classical Latin medius, center. And yeah, that’s the origin of medium. It also comes from the Proto Indo European medhyo-, middle, the origin of a ton of words, including middle. Unsurprisingly.

TL;DR: Three means, three totally separate origins.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Well, yesterday was the big eclipse. It was way lamer than they said it would be.

That was the sun during the nearest to totality we got around here. No, I’m not actually looking at the sun. I’m not an idiot. I just kind of aimed my phone up and took pictures, then found one that actually looked like something. I had a colander that was pretty good at showing the eclipse from the sun pouring through the holes, but I could never get a good picture of it. Here’s my play by play of the day:

2:00 EDT: Nothing yet.

2:15 EDT: Still no visible change from the colander, although the ambient light was dimmer.

2:36 EDT: Sun is looking a little lopsided there.

2:47 EDT: The half-sun shadow I see is supposed to be the most eclipsed it’s going to be around here. But if anything, it’s brighter outside because the clouds cleared a bit.

2:55 EDT: Still kind of dim, but there’s nothing eclipse-y going on here.

3:15 EDT: Sun back to normal. I’m not sure anything even happened. I’m beginning to think this whole eclipse thing was a scam.

What a total waste. I mean, it was better than working, but not by enough. Did you see anything cool yesterday? Do you know when the next eclipse where you live is?

Saturday, August 19, 2017


I had such high hopes.

Okay, hopes.
Then it’s not the modem causing the ridiculous load times and stuttering. Maybe it’s the wi-fi router. Or my computer. Or a million other damn things.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lost In Translation: August

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. And hey, it’s in the right month for it!

August showed up in the late eleventh century from the classical Latin Augustus mensis, month of August. Like most of the months, August used to have another name. While the Romans once called it Sextilis (because back then it was the sixth month of the year), in Old English it used to be weodmona├░, which translates to weed month. I cannot begin to describe how amusing I find that. We may finally have something that beats Threemilk.

Of course we all know that the Romans named the month after Augustus Caesar. That pretty much falls under the realm of common knowledge. It happened during 8 BCE, and was changed because apparently a lot of good things happened to him this month. But August wasn’t his real name. He changed it to that because he literally wanted to call himself venerable. Not really a surprise that a Caesar would want to call himself that. And it is where we get the word august, though we don’t really use it that much anymore. But it’s related to augment and that’s still popular.

I wonder how famous you have to be to get a month named after you…

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Did You Even Read The Post?

Got another crazy spam I couldn’t resist sharing.
December two thousand frigging ten, in other words the year I started this blog. Said post, as was typical of my early rambley posts, prattled on about books and forgetting the key to my mom’s house and having to creatively think of a way in. I sure as hell didn’t share any fitness resources. Apparently they don’t think people will check. Which…yeah, spam all over.

Things I can’t help but notice:

“Data-backed study” as opposed to all those studies without any data.

What usage of fitness and food related posts? How are they being used? You might as well say it’s a study of water posts on Facebook.

Fitness and Food are capitalized. Instagram is not. I find this curious.

Also, looking up the website Morgan Reiner is emailing me from indicates that it’s no longer in use. is still a site, but it’s “About Us” section reveals very little about who’s actually running it. Overall, shady as hell.

What do you think, audience? Do you find it valuable? What do you think this Morgan Reiner is after?

Saturday, August 12, 2017


The cable company gave me a free upgrade to my phone system. Of course they weren’t going to let that go.
She did seem regretful about the whole thing. Stupid corporate overlords.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Language of Confusion: Feeling Fruity, Part IV

And I think it’s the last part? For now? Maybe? Unless I think up some more fruit to etymologize and do a surprise sequel down the road.

Melon showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French melon, so no big changes there. Before there it was the Medieval Latin melonem, and classical Latin melopeponem, which is…a kind of pumpkin. Wait, there are kinds of pumpkins? Well, Latin stole it from the Greek melopepon, gourd melon. Oh, and the melon is from the pepon part of the word. Melon was actually a word for apple, when it wasn’t being used as a generic word for fruit. Just like apple!

Just water + melon, named in the early seventeenth century. Because it’s full of watery juice. In French, it’s melon d’eau. Water melon. No one’s even trying to be original.

Honeydew showed up in the late sixteenth century. But not as a melon. That wasn’t until 1916, for some reason. Before that it was just something sticky and sweet on plants. Weird that they named the melon after it, though. I never thought of honeydews as particularly sweet or sticky.

Cantaloupe showed up in 1739 from French, which took it from the Italian cantalupo, named for the place where the melons were first grown in Europe. Damn, melons have boring name origins.

Pumpkin showed up in the mid seventeenth century as an alternation from pompone/pumpion. It comes from the Middle French pompon and classical Latin peponem, which…looks awfully familiar. Yes, it’s from pepon, too. Sooooo pumpkin means melon. Where the hell did the K come from?


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

More Weird Searches

Why do I do this? Is a good question that never comes up in my weird searches, although you’d think it would.

What is a fidget spinner. I think my mom must have written this one.

Three of these I ask myself every day. I’ve never heard of “how can anyone tell you”. I guess it’s a song?

Honestly, if it wasn’t for autocorrect I would never be able to spell any of these. Except actually. I got that one down. I’m pretty good with congratulations, but every now and then my fingers hit d instead of t. It just sounds like a d, you know?

Now I’m wondering why the hell somebody’s poop is green. Maybe it’s from the snakes that make your right ear ring.

And now we clearly just have people who don’t understand the way the internet has changed businesses. As well as people who didn’t have to sit through School House Rock when they were kids. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a lot of overlap between those groups.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


That was a scary couple of minutes.
Did you know that Paint is 32? That makes it older than me!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Language of Confusion: Feeling Fruity, Part III

Still more fruits! There are a lot of them. Most of this week is stuff that is berries or just ends in berries. Because somehow there’s a distinction.

Strawberry comes from the Old English streawberige, which obviously means strawberry (although it was once called eor├×berige, earth berry). And it’s just a combination of the words straw and berry, despite being neither of those things. Seriously, it’s not a berry. It is however a member of the rose family.

Raspberry showed up in the early-mid seventeenth century, although earlier it was raspis berry. That’s thought to be from raspise, a rose-colored wine, which is from the Anglo Latin vinum raspeys. A lot about the word is just guessing, though. Some think it might be related to rasp, or the Old French raspe and Medieval Latin raspecia. It certainly seems to make sense, but as we all know that doesn’t mean it’s so. Also they’re not berries either.

Cranberry showed up in the mid seventeenth century when American English adapted the Low German word kraanbere, the kraan being related to crane, of course. As to why they named it after a crane, maybe because the plants’ stamens looks like the beaks of cranes? At least these ones are actually berries. I think. I haven’t found a source that confirms they’re not, anyway.

Yes, banana. They’re berries. And that’s probably the least weird fact I’ve learned today. It showed up in the late sixteenth century, actually coming to English from a West African origin (probably from a language called Wolof which calls banana banaana) by way of either Portuguese or Spanish.

Avocado, yet another somehow berry, showed up in 1763—quite a specific year! It comes from the Spanish avocado, a version of aguacate, their word for avocado. That word is actually Aztec, from the word ahuakatl. That’s definitely the first time that language has showed up in one of my posts.

Seriously, berries. What the hell.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August Goals

It’s August! You know what that means!

It’s my birthday month. You better all have known that. Anyway, goals or whatever.

July Goals
1. 10K more on my WIP. Go big or go home.
Did not get all of it, but I got over 5K which isn’t horrible.

2. Update my etymology page before it gets ridiculous again.
I did, and now it’s already getting ridiculous again.

3. Maybe actually do the outline. If free time starts falling from the sky.
Unfortunately, free time did not start falling from the sky. Maybe it grows from the ground?

Pretty good. A solid 60%. Which is good enough for me because I’m not in school anymore.

August Goals
1. Finish the book! I don’t know how many more words it’s going to be, but I think I’m getting close to the end. The final confrontation is close…

2. Again, start outlining it. There’s a bunch of stuff I need to figure out.

3. BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can’t wait until my birthday. There’s going to be so much cake!

Anyway, what are you up to this month? Anything cool?