Saturday, October 29, 2022

Creepy Crawlies

Why does this stuff keep happening when I’m trying to sleep?
panel 1, I’m asleep in bed when there’s a tapping coming from the ceiling, panel 2, more tapping as I wake up and say “What the hell is that noise? Is it raining?” panel 3, my eyes go wide as I see a giant spider making the noise as it walks across the wall, panel 4, I’m pulling the covers up as I watch in fear
I never got a good look at it because it was dark and I didn’t have my glasses on, but if it’s loud enough for me to hear it as it goes, I want to stay as far away from it as possible.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Cut

Talking about words related to cutting this week since this time of year always makes me think of slasher movies.
Cut showed up in the fourteenth century as a verb, and a century later as a noun and then an adjective. It’s either from the Old English cyttan (pronounced with a hard C), the North Germanic kut-, or the Old French couteau, all of which mean cut or knife. I’d have to assume they’re all related in some way, but this is etymology we’re talking about.
Slash showed up in the mid sixteenth century, and it’s thought to be from the French word esclater, to break out or splinter. That’s also the origin of slat and slit, and speaking of which…
Slice showed up in the fourteenth century as a noun before becoming a verb a century later. Both are from the Old French escliz, splinter or slice, from the verb esclicier, which is from the Frankish slitan. You might notice that looks like slit with extra letters, and yes, that’s where slit is from, though via a slightly different origin. Slit is from the Old English slitan, to tear or rend, from the Proto Germanic slitan, which is what gave us the Frankish version of the word.
Carve comes from the Middle English kerven, from the Old English ceorfan, which is the word they used to use instead of cut. It’s from the West Germanic kerbanan, which can be traced to the Proto Indo European gerbh-, to scratch. And that’s… actually the origin word for graph.
Finally today, gash showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the Middle English garce, which in spite of what autocorrect wants is not a misspelling of grace. It’s from the Old North French garser, and that’s thought to be from the Vulgar Latin charassare and Greek kharassein, scratch or carve. Nothing really super surprising about this, except… that’s the origin word for character. Seriously. The Latin word character is from the Greek kharakter, which means character but is from kharassein. I mean, WOW. What a leap.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
University of Texas at Arlington
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

From The Spamfiles

The one constant in the universe is that there is always more spam.

Message from Senior Discount saying I could be saving money
Hey!!! I’m not that old!

Message from Truth Finder saying federal law permits website to reveal personal records about almost everybody
“All you have to do is give us your name, social security number, and bank account information!”

Email from Provide Auto offering Greg auto insurance as low as sixty three dollars a month
Hey! Greg is still getting email! That sounds like a pretty good deal. He might want to take it.

an email address that goes on for thirty one random letters and numbers before it gets cut off wanting to verify my Coinbase account, which is offering cryptocurrency
The random string of symbols that’s at least thirty one characters long for an email address is far, FAR less scammy than the fact that it’s offering cryptocurrency.

Twitter follower that just joined in August with a pic that’s just a young man kneeling in front of a dark green background
Obviously fake, but the first one I’ve gotten in a long time that’s not an attractive woman with an OnlyFans link in her bio.

Saturday, October 22, 2022


Of course it picks when I’m in the middle of making a batch of cookies to die.
panel 1, I take out a mixer, panel 2, I start the mixer, which makes a whir noise, while putting ingredients in, panel 3, the mixer dies, panel 4, I try turning it off and on and it does nothing, panel 5, I stare at it, panel six, I say Crap
I guess I can’t be too surprised. The mixer is as old as I am.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Bugged Out, Part II

More bugs, this time ones that crawl on the ground.
How have I not done this before? Anyway, bug showed up in the early seventeenth century, first referring to bedbugs before it was insects in general. Its origins are kind of murky, but it might be related to the Middle English bugge, which is something frightening or a scarecrow in particular. It could also be related to the Scottish bogill, a goblin or bugbear (the latter of which actually has the original, something frightening definition of bug). As for all the other definitions of bug that arose over the years, like a machine defect (from 1889), to annoy someone (not until 1949!), and to secretly record (1946). There’s also bug-eyed, like someone with large eyes, and you’d think that would be related to insects, but it’s not. It’s thought to be from bulge instead!
Maggot, the larva stage of flies, is supposed to be a corruption of the word magat, which is also thought to be from the Middle English maddok, which could mean a maggot but also a worm—so things that squirm. That’s from the Old English maþa, which is pronounced “matha” and means maggot or worm. It’s from the Proto Germanic mathon, and that’s as far back as we can trace. So it hasn’t changed much except for the th inexplicably turning into gg.
Speaking of worm, it comes from the Old English wurm/wyrm, which meant a legless reptile like a snake. It comes from the Proto Germanic wurmiz, from the Proto Indo European wrmi-, which means worm, which is from wer-, to turn or bend. And man, the shear number of words that’s related to! We’ll have to get into it sometime.
Another larva, this word showed up in the mid fifteenth century as catyrpel, and the Y makes it look soo much cooler. It’s from the Old North French caterpilose, which literally means “shaggy cat”, from the Late Latin catta pilosa, where catta is cat and the rest is from pilosus, hairy or shaggy. A caterpillar is… a hairy cat?!
Now this one is really interesting since it can’t just be ear + wig… can it? It comes from the Old English earwicga, just earwig. The first part is from eare, which is just ear, while wicga was just another word for earwig or beetle. It’s origin is unknown, but it’s thought to be from wiggle, which does make more sense than wig. I mean, they do wiggle a lot. Though hopefully not in your ear.
Online Etymology Dictionary
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
University of Texas at Arlington
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

From The Spamfiles

Time for a new crop of spam to pop up.

Message allegedly from Walmart saying I’ve been chosen to participate in their loyalty program for free
Because the loyalty program for Walmart is just so damn exclusive and expensive.

message from Granite ED wanting to increase my sex drive
One of the little known properties of granite is its ability to increase sex drives. Why else would it be such a popular counter top style?

message from k j b saying my account has been blocked, and then the message begins with dear Ming Dong
Ming Dong! XD I couldn’t come up with a better name in a million years!

yet another message about penis size saying an African Priest helps a white man gain six inches because a guy offered his white wife and now I’m puking
I can’t even eat the amount this makes me want to vomit.
 message supposedly from Prime Video enticing me to watch a football game
This might not be spam, but instead is actually from Prime trying to get me to sign up to watch football, and I can’t begin to describe how little I want to do that. Basically, it’s good this went right into my spam folder. I’m bored just thinking about it.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Always Something

Finally, five minutes of actual free time!

Should’ve known it wouldn’t last. Blasted responsibilities and social obligations.

EDIT: Gah! I can’t believe I have to say this! Obviously I have the ability to say no! I get it and I’ve never had any problem with it! But something I WANT to do but does not provide me actual money (writing) does not outweigh helping the people I care about! Especially when they’ve helped me out in the past! I’m literally just trying to convey that I’ve been so busy I can’t get five minutes to write!

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Bugged Out, Part I

I’ve already done a post on the etymology of the names of bugs—several of them, actually—but there are still a few I missed. Might as well look at them now!
Beetle the bug comes from the Old English bitela, which comes from bite. Seriously. There’s actually a different use of beetle which means overhang, originating in Hamlet of all things, and it’s also from bite. But there’s yet a third meaning a heavy hammering instrument, and that’s not related to the others at all! Although it did possibly influence their spelling.
This one comes from the Old English hyrnet/hurnitu, which was a large flying insect in general rather than a specific species. It’s thought to be from the Proto Germanic hurz-nut-, which is supposed to be imitative of buzzing. Somehow. But one thing you can be sure of: it’s not related to horn at all.
From the Old English buttorfleoge, this word is apparently really just a mix of butter and fly. Why? Possibly because butterflies were once thought to consume butter or milk left uncovered, or (more likely, in my opinion) because several species were colors similar to butter.
Moths—which are apparently butterflies that come out at night—comes from the Old English moþþe, which is of course just moth. It’s Germanic somehow, and several other Germanic languages have versions of it, but it’s origin before that is unknown.
Finally today, the noisiest bugs that aren’t crickets. The word cicada showed up in the late fourteenth century, from the classical Latin cicada, which means cricket, and that makes sense since they’re almost as annoying as crickets. It’s origin before that is a mystery, but it’s known that whatever it is, cicada not a native Latin word. And… somehow, that’s all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

From The Spamfiles

The spam just keeps on coming.

message from “marketable” saying You hardly believe your eyes when you see me
Is… is marketable their name?

message from Pearls 2 swi saying your muscles are so strong and sexy!
Every now and then, it hits me that there are people out there that this works on and it makes me very sad.

message from West_African, saying a chocolate delicacy bursn fat 1,800% faster, with the message saying the fat lady broke the Ferris Wheel Woman
So… 1800% faster than what? Though that’s not as funny as the fat lady breaking the Ferris Wheel Woman (capitalized, of course).

message saying request 38842802 asking me to confirm my unsubscription
What will happen if I don’t? Is it nothing?

spam comment from unknown on a decade old etymology post saying this really shone some light on conceptual, reactive and deceptive thought processes
Yes, I’m sure my blog post from (checks notes) eleven years ago was a great help to you.

Saturday, October 8, 2022


She has two dishes of water to choose from that are both easier for her to reach.
Panel 1, I walk into a room holding a glass of water and see a trash bag on the ground and say Whoops, got to go take the trash out, Panel 2, the glass is on the table while I walk out with the trash, panel 3, just the glass on the table, Panel 4, my cat Peaches comes in the room, panel 5, I come back in the room and find Peaches has her head shoved in my glass and is lapping up the water, panel 6 is my horrified expression
Most of my horror is from wondering how often she’s done this and I haven’t seen.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Bloody

In the spirit of the season, I’m going to look at words related to blood, which… are just wildly all over the place.
Blood comes from the Old English blod, which means… blood. Easy to follow so far. Before that, it’s from the Proto Germanic blodam, and that’s thought to be from the Proto Indo European bhlo-to-, to gush or spurt or burst out. That’s from the root bhel-, to thrive or bloom, which I’ve actually already looked at since it’s the source for flower and all words related to that. As for its verb form, that’s from the Old English bledan, to bleed. In Proto Germanic, it’s blodjan, so I guess that’s the reason it’s an irregular verb as it’s also from bhlo-to-.
Now things are going to start to get weird. Foil is actually related to blood. But not foil as in foiling someone’s plans, but foil like a thin sheet of metal—like tin foil. And also foil like in someone’s opposite. Really! Originally, gems were backed in metal foil to make them shine more, which started to metaphorically mean “enhancing another by contrast”, and now we have foil. A foil like a sword might also be related, which would make somewhat sense, but it also might be from the foiling someone’s plans foil, because words are so stupid. Anyway, it showed up in the early fourteenth century from the Old French foil/fueill/fueille, which meant foliage (another word I’ve already looked at), a sheet of paper, or a sheet of metal. It’s from the classical Latin folia, leaves. Because leaves are flat, we have tin foil and character foils.
And speaking of metal that’s somehow related to leaves, there’s also blade. It comes from the Old English blaed, a leaf or a blade. It’s from the Proto Germanic bladaz, from the Proto Indo European bhle-to- (an e instead of an o!), from bhel-. So originally, blade meant a leaf, before it started meaning a shoulder blade and the cutting part of a knife, and then sometime after that it started referring to a piece of grass. I already mentioned words are stupid, didn’t I?
Finally today is somehow the most and least baffling of all. Bless comes from the Old English bletsian/bledsian/bloedsian, to bless or consecrate. It’s from the Proto Germanic blodison and blotham, which means blood, because blood was originally sprinkled on pagan altars. Remember that the next time you say “Bless you!” when someone sneezes.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

October Goals

Somehow it’s October already, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t get anything done I was supposed to. It’s not even winter yet and I already feel like I’m hibernating.
September Goals
1. Keep writing my new project to what I think will end up being the end of the first part.
I didn’t get to the end, as it was slower going than I hoped. I only have about a chapter and a half left, though, so fingers crossed.
2. Figure out how to engage more readers. Ugh, I am so very, very bad at this.
Very minor progress. Almost invisible. But I am working on it.
3. Actually get to the beta notes and edits. I fear I won’t, but I won’t let myself forget about it.
Ugh, maybe I’d have more energy to do this stuff if I wasn’t so tired all the time. Anyway, now for this month…
October Goals
1. Finish!!!!!
2. Seriously actually get to the beta notes this time, even if I don’t know what I’m going to do with this project.
3. Crud, it’s time to update my etymology page, isn’t it? This is always such an ordeal.
I remember the days when updating my etymology page was an easy item to check off. I really wish we could go back to the previous version of Blogger, but alas, it is out of reach.
What do you want to do this month?

Saturday, October 1, 2022


Why don’t they poison flavored yogurt? It would taste better!
First panel, I’m at the dairy case in the grocery store, I say “Yes, they finally have the peach yogurt I like back!” panel 2, I take it down, panel 3, close up showing it is Pumpkin Spice, not Peach flavor, and panel 4, me glaring at the yogurt yelling, “LIARS.”
The peach packaging looks almost exactly the same as the pumpkin spice. And let me tell you, there are very few things I hate more than the taste of pumpkin spice.