It was hard to narrow it down to only these ones. Frankly, there’s a
lot more that could have gone on this list.
1. Ass (donkey) and ass (butt) aren’t related. Which is why the latter is “arse”
outside of the United States. The donkey one is thought to be from the Latin asinus,
while the other one came (through Proto Germanic, so not Latin) from the Proto
Indo European ors-, backside.
2. We use the Italian spelling for colonel and the French
pronunciation. Seriously, it showed up in the sixteenth century as coronel,
from the French coronel. The Italian word for it is colonella,
the commander of a column of soldiers (column being where the word comes from).
And for some reason, English started spelling it the Italian way, and while
sometimes they also pronounced it that way, it was the French pronunciation
that ultimately stuck.
3. Onion comes from the word union. It’s just… not what you’d expect. Onion is literally from union,
because onions were “unified” in successive layers. It makes sense when you
think about it, but what a stupid reason for naming something. 4. Platinum, AKA lesser silver. Speaking of stupid reasons to name something, the Spanish word for
silver is plata.
When Spanish colonies in Mexico found this silver ore, it was called platina,
as it was a lesser silver. English copied their word for it and through the standard ending for periodic elements on it, and now we have
5. Sweet is related to persuasion. Talk about WTF connections. But yes, sweet is related to persuasion. Both are from the Proto Indo
European root swad-, which means sweet or pleasant, meaning persuasion
(and dissuasion, for that matter) is the aberration. For some reason swad-
evolved into suadere in Latin, to urge or persuade. And that’s why we
This is it, the last Tuesday of 2022. Somehow. I’m not sure
when this happened, but the year is almost over. And I’m sure I’ve done
absolutely nothing that I intended to do.
Resolutions 1. Write another book. Like I
haven’t been doing that enough. Oh well, at least it’s an easy resolution to
this is a success. It would have been a tougher resolution if I told myself to
2. Finish editing the book I
wrote over a year ago. You know, and stop getting distracted by Shiny New
Ideas. Eh, I
guess it’s finished. It’s not like there was ever any interest in it anyway.
3. Edit the book I just finished
writing. Because I make poor decisions. Hey, I
did this. Good on me for keeping it easy.
4. Keep looking for ways to
advance my writing. I know this one is kind of vague, but it’s basically me
wanting to get better at it. I guess
I did this too? I’ve been working on different things, just not successfully.
5. Lose some weight. Of all the
resolutions I’ve ever had, this is the hardest. It’s not fair. I like food… I
always seem to yo-yo within the same range…
6. Continue to avoid getting
sick. I made it almost two years without getting COVID, and I intend to keep it
that way. Wow, I
actually failed this one! Though I didn’t get COVID at least, just a
rhinovirus. That didn’t actually congest my nose. But gave me one hell of a
sore throat. Look, it was a weird couple of weeks.
7. Maybe actually be on social
media more. I know, this didn’t work out so well last year. Weirdly,
I did this. Again, not really successfully. I wish there was an instruction
manual with very specific instructions for how to do social media. Though now
things are blowing up anyway because of the manbaby who took over Twitter and
is running it into the ground because people are mean to him on there.
A weirdly successful year. For me anyway. I’d feel better
about it if the world still wasn’t so apocalyptic. It just kind of sucks that
the pandemic that has killed millions and harmed millions more is less of a
threat than rich people who want the government to give all the money to their
billion dollar corporations instead of the people working forty hours a week
who don’t get paid enough money to buy food.
Yes, still doing this. Tomorrow’s
Christmas! What do you expect?
I remember this day. Someone
hacked into the Facebook account I don’t have. I don’t have Facebook so I don’t
know, but if someone tries to log in to your account, how is it possible that
they have the name of this person? Aren’t they pretending to be me?
Large Angela is far more
accurate in her Angel readings. Because she’s larger.
Sigh… can you imagine if stuff
like this really happened? My life would be so much better. No more fear of
losing my health insurance or not having enough to buy things… Sigh…
Apparently Security comma Mary
really wants to get in touch with me about my account. There has been a
I have to finish up with what
was my most memorable fake follower, the woman constantly looks posed whose
eyes you never see in any of the photos she’s posted. I am still one hundred
percent confident she is not a real person. And I don’t mean that she’s photos
stolen from the internet, I really think someone is just posing a realistic
They really couldn’t make up
their mind. Not only is it two messages with two different “order numbers”,
it’s also my order—except I’ve been chosen. And it’s saying Why wait! Not even
a question there. Also one says Capital One in the message instead of Samsung
TV. I mean, the other message was right there. It shouldn’t have been that hard
for them to copy and paste.
Okay, I can barely read this.
That word has to be Vegas, but it looks like it begins with B—is that seriously
supposed to be a V??? I mean, that other word has to be Verification. Plus
there’s the fact that the P in Payout looks like a B as well. Did they
seriously think people would click on this just because it has a very fancy
This was a recent comment on an
etymology post. Twelve years ago.
I seem to remember this being
the name of an actual, real human being, who probably was not too happy to hear
he was being imitated on twitter.
It’s the last real etymology post of the year and I’m out of ideas. So
we’re looking at more trees.
Sycamore Sycamore showed up in the mid fourteenth century as sicamour, coming from the Old Frenchsicamor/sagremore. That’s from the classical Latinword for the tree,
and they of course stole it from the Greek sykomoros.
It’s actually a mix of sykon, fig, and moron, which, first of all, that’s hilarious, but it actually means
mulberry and refers to the genus of the mulberry tree.
Which, you know, is not a sycamore. A sycamore is a “fig mulberry”. Despite being neither of those things. Okay, this one was just stupid.
Spruce More seasonally appropriate, the name spruce showed up in the mid seventeenth century, though before that it was
spelled spruse, and apparently it was a word for things brought over
from Prussia. Yeah, originally it was Pruce, short for Prussia, and
referred to lots of different things imported from Prussia, like beer, leather,
and wood. The tree was thought to be unique to Prussia, and the name for the
tree stuck. There’s also to spruce, as is to spruce something up, and that
shockingly is related. Kind of. Like I said, spruce referred to a lot of
different things, including leather, and that spruce leather was used to make a
type of jacket that was considered fashionable in the fifteenth century, so by
the sixteenth century, prior to the word for the tree, sprucing something up was
in the English lexicon.
Ash You’d think this tree would be related to burning things—I mean, wood
burns!—but you’d be wrong. Ash as in tree comes from the Old Englishaesc, which is similar
to but distinct from aesce, their word for burned ashes.
Both are from Proto Germanic, but the tree is askaz/askiz, from
the Proto Indo European root os-, which means ash tree, while
the other one is from the Proto Germanic askon, from the PIE root as-,
to burn or glow. So yeah. Another word
pair of homonyms that have nothing to do with each other, and have sounded
similar all through their existences.
Aspen Aspen showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old English aespe, aspen.
It’s from the Proto Germanic aspo, from the Proto Indo European aps-,
which also meant the tree. After the last bunch, this one is disappointingly
Last spamfiles post of the year! Kind of. You’ll see.
Often I look at spam and have to wonder who the hell this
could possibly work on. I mean, Hello dear? How are you doing? Who writes
messages like that? Is there really someone out there going “Oh! Isabella is
contacting me! Boy, she sure sounds normal!”
I do love it when the spam calls itself spam in the message
and still expects you to believe it.
Wait, is Turkey part of Europe? Hold on, I have to google
something. Okay, technically a small part of it is in Europe, but the vast
majority of the country is in Asia, and they themselves have mixed reactions at being
called European, with it leaning towards no. You’d think a lawyer from there
would know that.
For someone trying to establish direct communication, they
sure are wordy and unclear.
Wow, he can cure all those? You think he’d be more famous. Also
I’m thinking he’s not a doctor, he probably just changed his first name to “Dr”.
It would explain the lack of period in the abbreviation.
I’ve done all the numbers one to ten, and some of the major ones, but
how about all those weird ones?
Like eleven. Why is it not one-teen? It showed up in the thirteenth century spelled elleovene, from
the Old Englishendleofan which I’m
glad we don’t have to spell any time we write eleven. It’s from the Proto Germanicainlif-, where ain- means one
and the rest is from the Proto Indo Europeanleikw-,
to leave. Eleven is, somehow, one plus
to leave. Apparently it’s because Anglo-Saxon would use leave (spelled laf)
in reference to leavings. Eleven is basically saying “one left over”, i.e. from
Twelve is basically the same. It’s from the Old English twelf, from the
Proto Germanic twa-lif-, where twa- is from the Proto Indo European dwo-,
two. Twelve is two left over! Then
there’s dozen, which showed up in the fourteenth century as doseine. It’s from the Old Frenchdozaine and classical Latinduodecim,
plus decim, ten.
So those two words were shoved together and the middle morphed into the Z
Plus there’s also ordinal numbers, which from four on are just the
number plus -th, but the first three are kept weird. First is especially bizarre,
since it seems to have nothing to do with one. It showed up sometime before the
sixteenth century, coming from the Old
English fyrst. It’s actually the
superlative of the word fore, as in first is to fore what worst is to worse,
and it can be traced to the Proto Germanic furista- and Proto Indo
European pre-isto-, which is actually related to per-, the suffix meaning forward. So first is first because it’s first.
Then there’s second, which, again, nothing in common with two. It
showed up in the fourteenth century from the Old French second and classical Latin secundus, which
means, well, second,
the thing that follows. It can be traced back to the Proto Indo European sekw-ondo-,
from sekw-, to follow. Second
is second because it follows first.
Third at least has letters in common. It comes from a mix of the Old English þridda, third, and the Proto
Germanic thridja-, they just switched the R and the I. It’s from the
Proto Indo European tri-tyo-, which is from trei- the origin of
three. It seems like there’s no real
reason it’s weird other than it just stuck around and people reversed the
There’s less than a month left
in 2022? When did that happen????
November Goals 1. Figure out something to work
on next. I did
start screwing around with something new, this one something post apocalyptic.
Something about this time of year always makes me want to work on depressing
2. Work on making more blogging
connections. As if.
I’m so terrible at this. I really wish there was a step by step list of
3. Thanksgiving. At least this
one is easy. Well, it’s its own brand of hell, but it’s going to happen
regardless of what I do. It’s
over with! Yay!
And that was last month. Now for
December Goals 1. Keep plugging away at my new
2. Do all the end of the year
stuff I have to do.
3. Now it’s Christmas, ugh.
A fairly easy month, really. Of
course, I thought November was going to be easy, and then I got sick. UGH.
The naut part shows up in a lot
of places. First there’s nautilus—a sea snail—which showed up in the seventeenth century and is taken directly from the
Latin nautilus, and means the same thing, and is from the same Greek
words as nautical. Then there’s astronaut, which showed up in 1929 in sci-fi books (though in 1888, an English writer named Percy Greg used Astronaut as the name of a spaceship) and was then picked up by the US space
program in 1961. The -naut was taken straight from the Greek nautes,
and from there, nau-.
Next is navigate, which makes
sense when you think about it. It showed up in the late sixteenth century from the classical Latin navigatus and its verb form navigare, to sail.
For most of its existence, it referred to sailing, then in 1784 it also
referred to balloons (XD) and then in 1901 aircraft.
Navy is one of the oldest words
we’re looking at, having showed up in the mid fourteenth century from the Old Frenchnavie. It’s from
the classical Latin navigia, which literally means boats and is from navis, ship,
and nau-. It’s no surprise that naval is related (though navel like a bellybutton absolutely is not),
but what is kind of a surprise is that nave—like part of a church—is also. Nave
showed up in the late seventeenth century from the Medieval Latinnavem, which
means a church nave, and is somehow from navis, apparently because some people kind
of thought a nave looks like a ship.
You probably wouldn’t think
nacelle is related, but it makes sense when you hear the history. It showed up
in the late fifteenth century from
the Vulgar Latinnaucella, from
the Late Latinnavicella, which
is from navis and means little ship. And that is what nacelle originally meant
in English, it was just quickly abandoned, then in 1901 people started using it
to mean the “gondola of an airship”, and in 1914 it was the “cockpit of an
aircraft”, and then any structure/housing on a ship. Unlike some obsolete words, this one lives on!