Thursday, December 28, 2023

More Stupidest Etymology

As usual for the last etymology post of the year, I’m going to do something different. Once again I’m going to look at the weirdest etymology I’ve gone over this past year, because there’s been quite a bit of it.
Warp means transport these days because of astrophysics, and mostly Star Trek.
Nacelle, defined as the cockpit of an aircraft (or other similar structures) comes from the Latin word navis, ship, for the stupidest reason possible. Navis then Late Latin made it a diminutive navicella, Vulgar Latin made it a, naucella, then Old French made it nacele. It came to English meaning a small boat, and then, in 1901, because a “gondola of an airship” looked like a small boat, we started calling parts of metal things that fly in the air a small ship.
Inward and outward are not related to award, reward, or anything else with ward in it. The former two are in- or out- + ward, which means toward and from wer-, a PIE root that means turn or bend. The rest are from a different PIE wer-, this one meaning perceive or watch out for, and is the origin for guard and words ending in -gard.
Kaput. Just kaput. It definitely wins the stupid prize here.. It’s from German, but it’s actually a misused form of the phrase capot machem, which is a translation of the French phrase faire capot, which was used to say you won all the tricks in an old card game. The phrase’s literal translation is “to make a bonnet”. What the hell.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Reflections 2023

What the absolute hell happened? This year was… not great. In multiple ways. And very, very expensive. Companies are reporting record profits, because cereal is eight dollars now. Face lotion is thirty. If you go into Target, you can’t find someone to unlock the electronics you want to buy because there are like three people working in the whole store. Life is an endless nightmare, and we’re going into an election year. I want to crawl into a hole now before they take away my healthcare and a single cereal bar costs eighteen dollars.
I’m not even sure I can stomach to look at what I was supposed to do the last year.
Resolutions 2023
1. Keep looking for ways to promote my web serial (I am so, so bad at this).
Yeah, I’m even worse at this than I thought. Marketing and promotion are really confusing. I suppose I could create a hundred fake accounts and downvote a bunch of books by POCs and only upvote mine, or has that been done?
2. Write the second part of that web serial.
At least this was easy enough.
3. Finish the new web serial project I’ve been working on (less seriously, I don’t have much of a plan for this one).
This too, as I do really, really enjoy writing.
4. Write something else. Not sure what. I’m just assuming this will happen at some point.
Hey, I did this too, and have finished a book that I have been envisioning in some form or other for something like twenty five years. It’s nothing like how I first conceived it, but that’s probably a good thing.
5. Find a new social media to be active on since twitter is being slowly murdered. So far, Mastodon seems too complicated and Hive too shaky. There’s Tumblr, of course, but it’s, well, Tumblr.
Bluesky! It’s actually not terrible. I have some invite codes I have no idea what to do with, if anyone’s interested.
6. Work on losing some weight. Probably not going to happen, but I can try.
Okay, why the hell did I make this a goal? That was a stupid idea.
7. Start reading some new books. For the past few years, the only new things I’ve read have been graphic novels/comics, so I’d like to get back to reading some word novels again.
Hey, I did this! And now I’m chewing my nails waiting for the last book in the series trying to come out.
Don’t let the relative completion fool you. 2023 was terrible. Off to the hole.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Instrumental

Yeah I’m totally out of ideas. Plus it’s almost the holiday, and I’m tired.
Guitar showed up as a word in the mid seventeenth century, from the French guitare. That’s from the Old French guiterre/guiterne, from the classical Latin cithara, guitar, and Greek kithara, also guitar. It was always a stringed musical instrument, though it used to be a triangular, seven-stringed lyre-like instrument. There are several other instruments descended from these words, including the gittern and the zither, and kithara might be descended from the word sitar as well. Though this is etymology, so maybe not.
Lute is a much older word, having shown up in the late thirteenth century from the Old French lut/leut. That’s from the Old Provençal laut, a messed up form of the Arabic al-‘ud, their word for lute, which literally translates into the wood.
Harp comes from the Old English hearpe, which is also just a harp. That’s from the Proto Germanic harpon, a word of uncertain origin, though it might be related to the Late Latin harpa. Which, you know, would make sense, but again, etymology.
Lyre showed up in the thirteenth century from the Old French lire, classical Latin lyra, and Greek lyra, so there really hasn’t been much variation in a thousand years. The word’s origin is unknown before that (though the instrument is supposedly from Egypt), though it did give us the word lyric as a lyrical poem in the late sixteenth century.
Violin showed up in the late sixteenth century from the Italian violino, a diminutive of viola. Viola actually didn’t show up in English until 1797, but it was in Italian a lot earlier than that, coming from the Old Provençal viola, and Medieval Latin vitula, and that might actually be from a Roman goddess.
Finally today, fiddle showed up in the late fourteenth century (violin actually replaced it as the word for the instrument). It comes from the Old English fiðele, which is somehow related to the Old Norse fiðla, though no one knows where that actually came from. Who knows? Maybe someone called it that once as a joke and it stuck.
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
Dictionary of Medieval Latin
Orbis Latinus
Encyclopedia Mythica

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

From The Spamfiles

Last spam of the year! Which means the year is almost over, a frankly horrifying concept.

Message from Ashfaq Ahmad, saying Elevate Your Website’s Power, Domain Authority and Domain Rating Pricing, Hi! Unlock the true…
Does the lack of an Oxford comma bother anyone else or is it just me?

Message from Muhammad Kashif, saying Strategize for Enhanced Web Reach, Our tailored approach involves strategic techniques to boost…
I don’t know why anyone would think I need more web reach on my blog. Look at all my visitors! [sound of crickets chirping]

Message from CarShield, saying Welcome To CarShield (but there are no spaces)
CarShield has not heard of spaces between words.
 Message from Mhugu, saying Increase DA and Purchase Guest Post, then in quotes “If your business is not on the internet, then your business…
I’m guessing the DA is the “Domain Authority” Ashfaq was talking about there, something I don’t care about and am not entirely sure is a real thing.

A message from cs home accnts dot membership sensit dfaj. Platfo…, saying We regret to inform you that your Netflix membership has been placed on hold due to issues with your billing information. We kindly request to update your billing information as soon as possible to continue using your account without any interruption. To update your billing information, please follow the instructions by click on the link below, Netflix Services
So close to sounding like a real native English speaker, but you did mess up a few verbs and nouns. Also how is that not the sketchiest address sending me this text? Plus, this actually came in at like three in the morning, which I of course did not see because I was asleep. No, nothing suspicious about that!

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Toys

Toy itself showed up in the fourteenth century, but back then it meant “amorous playing” (yikes) or sport, then meaning a piece of fun/entertainment until the sixteenth century, which morphed into a thing of little value and finally a thing a child plays with. It’s origin before that is unknown, and one theory is it’s a combination of more than one word. Not that anyone has any idea what those words might be.
Next, game showed up in the thirteenth century as a game, then hunting or fisher in the fourteenth century. It’s from the Old English gamenian, to joke or play. It’s Germanic in origin, from the Proto Germanic ga- prefix with the suffix mann meaning person. Gamy is from here, though it didn’t show up until 1844 meaning “spirited or plucky”. It didn’t have to do with taste until almost twenty years later in 1863, and who knows what brought on that weird change?
Doll is an interesting one since it actually showed up as a nickname before it was a toy. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the name Dorothy, slightly before dolly was used the same way. By the early seventeenth, it started to be used as a pet name for a woman you were involved with, and then by the middle of the century it meant… well, slut. Yeah. Then, by the seventeenth century, it meant a child’s toy baby, and by the end of the eighteenth century it was being used for women again in a fond way. Then by the mid twentieth century it was back to being patronizing again.
Finally today, puppet showed up in the mid sixteenth century meaning a little figure moved by strings. It comes from the Middle English popet, their word for doll because they didn’t use doll that way, from the Old French popette, from popee, a doll or puppet. That’s from the Vulgar Latin puppa, from the classical Latin pupa, which means doll or girl. Fun fact, that’s from pupillus, which is the origin word for pupil.
Have you finished your holiday shopping yet?
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at Arlington
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary
Dictionary of Medieval Latin
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Gifts, Part II

All these words are descended from the Proto Indo European root ghabh-, to give or receive. Though every one of these words you’re going to look at and say WTF???
First is debt of all words. It showed up in the fourteenth century—with debtor actually showing up in the previous century, and back then they spelled it dettur/dettour, sensibly without the silent B! Debt is from the Old French dete, from the classical Latin debitum, debt, while debtor is from the Anglo French detour (no, not related to detour), Old French detor, and then classical Latin debitor, debtor. Both words are from the verb debere, to owe or originally to keep away from someone. The de- means away, and the rest is from habere, which as I mentioned last week means to have and is from ghabh-. A debt is something that needs to be given away. A debtor is someone it’s given away to.
Similarly, there’s due. It showed up in the mid fourteenth century as what’s customary or regular, then later on in the century as what’s owed, and then also becoming a noun in the early fifteenth century and an adjective in the sixteenth century. It comes from the Old French deu, from the verb devoir, to owe, from debere in Latin. So due is from debt, but they didn’t stick in the useless letter this time. The word duty is pretty much the same. It showed up in the late fourteenth century first spelled duete, from the Anglo French duete, which is also taken from the Old French deu.
But that’s not weird enough. How about endeavor being from the same place? It showed up in the early fifteenth century meaning the effort taken to obtain something, actually coming from the phrase to “put yourself in dever”, which meant to make it your duty (to get something). Dever is an Old French word meaning duty, and is also from debere. Because people used to say “in dever” a lot, we have endeavor.
Finally is a word you’re definitely not going to expect: malady. It showed up in the late thirteenth century from the Old French maladie, from malade, which means ill. That’s from the Late Latin male habitus, which means feeling sick. Male literally means badly, while habitus is like habit, attitude, or disposition—when you have a malady, you’re in a poorly disposition. And habitus is of course from habere. A malady is to have illness.
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
Fordham University
Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

December Goals

How the hell is it December??? That’s just not right. I need to complain about this to someone. We should only be in April at the latest, but here I am looking at what I did in November.
November Goals
1. Get to 60K on my WIP.
Hey, I did this. It was actually pretty easy.
2. Continue editing and posting my other WIP.
Another easy one. Set goals you were going to do anyway. It makes things easier!
3. Thanksgiving (dread)
Most of my extended family was busy this year and only able to stop by briefly. I didn’t have to stress myself out socializing and I got more desserts! Win-win!
It went better than I could have anticipated. You know, if you don’t look at the horrifying state of the world what with all the innocent people being slaughtered. Ha ha, things are terrible!
Anyway, December.
December Goals
1. Finish my WIP.
2. Keep editing and posting my web serial.
3. The holidays! Maybe they won’t be bleak and full of despair!
Oof. November. Not really expecting much from December either. What do you want to do this month?