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 Europeankel-, to
cover/conceal/save. And that leads to some weird words.
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 Latinsuperciliosus,
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.
we get into the weird stuff. Um, weirder. Occult showed up in the mid sixteenth century meaning secret, coming from the Middle Frenchocculte 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.
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?
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.
today, we’re looking at hell. Yep, this is where it derived from. It came from the Old Englishhell (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-.
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)
I bet it’s all emojis.
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.
love how they can never get the punctuation right. Because random periods and
dashes are super trustworthy.
of super trustworthy, here’s ebaY.
apparently this is in Finnish. And what does it say? “Dearest, I am married to
a Kuwaiti Hassan Hajredin to 19 years without childrenand 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!
last week how I started talking about cell (coming from the Proto Indo Europeankel-, to
cover/conceal/save) and it got crazy fast? Yeah. That was just a warm up for
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
from the Old
from the Proto
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 Latincella,
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 Europeankel-, to
cover, conceal, or save. So because monks/nuns hide away in tiny rooms, that’s
what a cell became known as.
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.
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 Frenchconceler, 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
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…
today, color. Yes, really. It showed up in the early thirteenth century meaning skin color, from the Anglo
and Old French color, color or
complexion. It’s from the Old Latincolos, which means “a covering”, and is also from kel-. Fun
fact, the Old
English word for color was hiw, AKA hue.
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.
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.
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.)
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.