Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Etymology Fun

If you know me (of which you most definitely should *wink wink*), you know I love dogs. I giggle whenever I see one on the street. Of course, I have to live vicariously through others to get my doggy fix.

That happened the other day at work. I heard a coworkers say, "There's a dog outside." What did I do instantly? I booked it to the door to catch a glimpse of the four-legged buddy... and yes, to play with the little guy. After being pawed, licked, playing "come here" for a couple minutes, and asking the owner thepup’s name, I went back to work twenty shades of happy.

This got my cubicle mate and me chatting about dogs and it led to Pit Bulls. I brought up how this breed of dog, I've heard, is a rather nice dog. They've gotten a bad rap over the years. She brought up one of the ways the Pit Bull received it's name: because they would be placed in the pit with bulls to calm them down enough for the owners to handle them. Of course, the dog would bite the bull on the nose until it calmed down. So. Pit. andBull. Interesting, huh? There are other ways that this breed may have received its name--all cruel, if you ask me.

This got me thinking of word etymology. It is intriguing how words came into being.
I decided to Google funny or strange word etymologies. The one I found most interesting is on a site called Listverse. Click HERE to view it.

My favorite from this list was "Jargon". Let's just say I had a college professor who loved to "hide behind unintelligible gobbledegook."

What are some of your favorite word etymologies? Were you surprised by any of the word etymologies on Listverse?


Writing Jewels


  1. Clue is one? Never knew that. Some pups do get a bad rap

  2. I found the history of the word Dunce fascinating. It's so interesting how words can go from meaning one thing to meaning something entirely different.

  3. Great link!
    I took Greek in college, and found out how we got a lot of our words.

    1. Greek, huh? That's pretty awesome! I hope you still speak some of it.

    2. It is actually Greek of the New Testament it is a dead language.

  4. One of my professors gave us a list of words originated in the African-American community in the early 20th century. One of them was "petting." Etymology is an interesting subject, for sure.