Saturday, September 28, 2019


It’s quite insulting, really.
Heaven forbid she actually come up to snuggle on me. No. It was only for the quilt.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Language of Confusion: Perfect Cell, Part III

This is a perfect way to lead into October because a lot of these cell words are surprisingly dark. Now, to remind everyone (as I assume you don’t obsessively retain this information like I do), cell comes from the Proto Indo European kel-, to cover/conceal/save. And that leads to some weird words.

First, the lightest and softest of the words this week (though no less weird): supercilious. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the classical Latin superciliosus, from supercilium, which means arrogance, but which literally means eyebrow. See, because arrogance involves raised eyebrows… yeah. The super- means above and the cilium means eyelid and is derived from celare, to hide, a word we talked about in part one that comes from kel-. So because eyebrows cover eyelids, we have supercilious.

Now we get into the weird stuff. Um, weirder. Occult showed up in the mid sixteenth century meaning secret, coming from the Middle French occulte and classical Latin occultus, which means hidden, secret or occult. The o comes from ob-, which means over, and the rest comes from celare. To hide/cover over. Oh, and guess what? This is not where cult comes from. That word has a completely different origin.

Next, kleptomania. Yep, this one, too. It showed up in 1830 (where it was also spelled with a C), coming from mania and and the Greek word kleptes, thieves. That word comes from kleptein, stealing, which is from the Proto Indo European klep-, which is related to kel-. You conceal/save something you steal, right?

I bet you didn’t think apocalypse would be here, but yes, it is. It showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning revelation or disclosure. It comes from the Church Latin apocalypsis, from the Greek apokalyptein, reveal. The apo- means off or away from and the kalyptein means covered, and is from kel-. So it’s away from hiding, to reveal, to apocalypse.

Finally today, we’re looking at hell. Yep, this is where it derived from. It came from the Old English hell (also spelled hel or helle), where it meant “where sinners go”. It’s from the Proto Germanic haljo, the underworld, a “concealed place”. Which is how it came from kel-.

Wild, huh?

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

From The Spamfiles

Here we go!

I have to admit, I don’t get this one. “I really forgive [you]” (no, I’m not only using u; I’m civilized) means that I can answer them now. “I’ve heard that you are with another person now but I don’t believe her” like… who even are you? Why would I ever respond to this? Are they trying to get me to tell them they have the wrong person and then strike up a conversation that way? Or am I just overthinking this way too much? (we all know I’m over thinking it way too much)

Ugh, I bet it’s all emojis.

For all of you that were worried, here, it seems Greg is still getting mail. I’m sure you’re all relieved. He better get on this, too. His thoughts are vital.

I love how they can never get the punctuation right. Because random periods and dashes are super trustworthy.

Speaking of super trustworthy, here’s ebaY.

Okay, apparently this is in Finnish. And what does it say? “Dearest, I am married to a Kuwaiti Hassan Hajredin to 19 years without children  and my husband died in 2014. I will contact you and inform wanted to donate…” So it’s a widow (I assume she has cancer because they always do) who wants me to donate money for her. But in Finnish!

Saturday, September 21, 2019


All I want is to download a game. For crying out loud.
Have those stupid things ever correctly estimated how long it would take to download something ever?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Language of Confusion: Perfect Cell, Part II

Remember last week how I started talking about cell (coming from the Proto Indo European kel-, to cover/conceal/save) and it got crazy fast? Yeah. That was just a warm up for this week.

First today, we’re looking at hull. Like on a ship. And also like the outer casing of a seed, because people used to say that ship keels looked like open peapods, although it’s not totally sure that the two are related. The one thing that’s sure is that the seed covering hull comes from the Middle English hol/hole, from the Old English hulu, from the Proto Germanic hulu-, to cover. And that word happens to be from kel-. There’s also hold—not like holding an object, the hold of a ship. A ship hold showed up in the fifteenth century as a corruption of the Middle English holl, the hull of a ship. What? You thought it was because it was something that held cargo? Don’t be ridiculous.

Hall comes from the Old English heall, a large room in a residence where “social and public affairs of the house” take place, and somehow that’s descended from kel-. Maybe the house business was something they wanted concealed? Anyway, it didn’t mean a passageway until the seventeenth century, evolving from a sense that doors to private rooms in the house opened to the large public room. No, I’m not sure how you get from one to the other, I’m just reporting it (hallway came two centuries later, BTW, so that had no influence). Anyway, if you ever wondered why a town hall is called that, it’s because it’s one of the only uses of the word that’s close to the original meaning.

Next, hole. It comes from the Old English hol, which means a cave or pit, coming from the Proto Germanic hulan, which is from kel-. I guess because you can hide things in holes? Also related is hollow, which hole mostly replaced in English. It showed up in the thirteenth century from the Old English holh and Proto Germanic hul-, both of which we can probably assume are from the same words as hole descended from.

Finally today, a helm, as in, the one you’d wear on your head, not like you steer a ship. The word helmet showed up in the mid fifteenth century, and it’s possibly from helm. To be honest, people aren’t totally sure, so it’s just a guess that it’s from helm, which comes from the Old English helm, Proto Germanic helmaz, which is then from kel-. Since a helmet is a covering for the head, you can kind of see it, although not why they dropped the K and replaced it with H.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

From The Spamfiles

Yay, it’s that time again!

I, on the other hand, do not.

Someone should tell Love Swans that Sexy Love is ripping them off.

Give her kisses and grab her butt!

All you need to give is your social security number, first pet, and mother’s maiden name.

…That’s a damned lie. No one has ever requested to be my buddy in my entire life.

What? It’s a perfectly normal email address.

Saturday, September 14, 2019


I’ve had... issues with my fan.

In real life, it was only a few hours. But what a quiet few hours.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Language of Confusion: Perfect Cell, Part I

Hey, I haven’t etymologized “cell” before! That’s the only criteria I need to do it! Also, this will be a multi-parter, but not a big multi-parter. I think we’ve had enough of that for now.

Cell showed up in the early twelfth century meaning a small monastery, before a small room for a religious figure inside the monastery. It comes from the classical Latin cella, which just means cell (and is an excellent brand of chocolate covered cherries), and is related to celare, to hide. That actually can be traced to the Proto Indo European kel-, to cover, conceal, or save. So because monks/nuns hide away in tiny rooms, that’s what a cell became known as.

Obviously, it’s morphed a lot since then. It wasn’t until the eighteenth century that it was used in a prison sense. And yet amusingly, it was used in reference to brain in the fourteenth century, as people used it in reference to different “rooms” of the brain having different functions. In biology, it was actually used in the seventeenth century—so again, this predates the prison sense, although back then it was in refreence to different cavities in anything, like in honey combs, and it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that it specifically referred to first an electric battery, and then a few decades later an organism. As for the phone usage, cell there is short for cellular, which showed up in 1753 meaning “resembling cells”. That word is actually from the Latin cellularis, of cells. It was in 1977 that it was first used in relation to phones, because mobile phone systems were divided into “cells” served by transmitters. And then it was shortened again into cell phone.

Cell is related to a few other words by way of kel-, and of course that’s where things get amusing. Conceal is also descended from it, having shown up in the early fourteenth century as concelen. It’s from the Old French conceler, to hide, and the classical Latin concelare, to hide. Con- is probably intensive here, and we’ve already seen celare, so the word is “to really hide”. There’s also ceiling, which showed up in the mid fourteenth century as celynge. It comes from the Middle English ceil, to put a cover or ceiling over, and before that, the Old French celer, to conceal, and you see where this is going. It comes from celare, too. A ceiling covers/hides you, so…

Finally today, color. Yes, really. It showed up in the early thirteenth century meaning skin color, from the Anglo French culur/coulour and Old French color, color or complexion. It’s from the Old Latin colos, which means “a covering”, and is also from kel-. Fun fact, the Old English word for color was hiw, AKA hue.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

September Goals

Oh, right. This.

August Goals
1. Work on planning the sequel to the WIP. I didn’t expect to do this already, but everything’s been going so well on it, that I’m actually getting to the point where it’s ready to be written.
Well, I failed this goal. Mostly because instead of “planning”, I just went ahead and wrote it. I managed to get 50K down by the end of the month. Whoops.

2. Keep editing. Can’t get distracted by the shiny prospect of first draft writing.
Yeah, this is a major fail. It was too shiny! I couldn’t resist!

3. BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!
At least I didn’t manage to screw this one up!

So, yeah. Things definitely didn’t go according to plan. I just enjoy writing about this world so much… I’m already two thirds of the way done. I should’ve known I wouldn’t be able to resist.

September Goals
1. Well,  now that I’ve started, I might as well finish WIP-2.

2. Maybe actually get around to editing those old stories this time.

3. I should also update my etymology page. I don’t even have the case words up yet.

Let’s hope it’s easier to get my goals done this month. What are you up to?

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Secret Origins: 8

Wow, it’s been a very long time since I’ve done one of these. Since… holy crap, last December. Damn.

As a word, eight showed up in the late fourteenth century as eighte, and even earlier as ehte. It’s from the Old English eahta/aehta, which is from the Proto Germanic akhto, and before that the Proto Indo European okto.

As for the symbol… well, that’s where things get crazy. Medieval writing has it as an 8, but in Arabic (where the numerals came to us from) it’s more of a ^ (the opposite of 7, which was that symbol inverted). Earlier, in Hindu, it’s like if it was part of the 8, as was in Brahmi, just with a slightly different part of the symbol. No real explanation for why we switched that digit’s symbol, though. Maybe to distinguish it more? But that’s pure guesswork on my part.

Ah, these posts are so quick and easy. They certainly don’t last nine weeks, that’s for sure.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

From The Spamfiles

What’s this? A spam post? Isn’t it supposed to be a goals post? Yes, but since my blogging break is in the last week of the month, it would mean doing said post a week early. So I’m just going to push it back to next week.

[Spam 1492]
Sure. This is a perfectly real follower and not at all a spambot. I should hook them up with a follower I got just today...

Yes, yet another Greg email. I’m just really amused by the name “Irmgard”, which I was shocked is even a real name. It seems to be Germanic in origin. In any case, definitely not one you’d see where I live.

Hmm… Are 16 messages from the Local Ladies equal to 10 messages from Sexy Becca? (This message is from a trusted sender.)

Occasionally, you can see something like trends in spam, where they stop using a phrase or misspell it because people are putting them into their spam filter. “un.ssubs.cribee” is a prime example.

Okay, I’m not sure if “singies” is a misspelling in the same vein as the above or if they’re just really bad at spelling.

Oh, well, as long as they’re seriously attractive.