I have always been fascinated by languages,and the origin of words, it says a lot about a culture, its people and the country.
As English is not my first language,I had to learn it, and have to be so very careful that I pronounced and spelt things correctly, but I am sure I make mistakes, which you all are very kind to over look and not criticise me , thank you.
However I came across some vry interesting facts about the origin of certain English words and they are really fascinating,so thought I will share them with you,though some of you may already know them, and some of you might even have your own collection of Etymologicon,so do please share them.These are my favourites.
Did you know where the word “biscuit” comes from ? A biscuit is cooked twice,and comes from French “bi-cuit”, and the bi in biscuit is the same which you get in bisexual and bicycle. By the way did you know that the word bi sexual was not invented until 1890s and was coined by a psychiatrist, and he also invented the word masochism.
The glorious insanities of the English languages. You can do all sorts of things to a book! You can cook it, bring a criminal to it or you can throw it at someone, and of course you can take a leaf of it.
Gambling in medieval France was a simple business, they needed a pot and a chicken to do it! First every one will put equal amount of money in the pot,and then they all will try and hit the poor chicken with stones, and as the poor soul quacked around and dodged the stones, the first one to hit it will win the money pot.That is how the French played a game of chicken, and as poule is French for a chicken, so you can guess , the word pool became synonymous with all games and gambling and of course Pool!
My favourite is “Gonads”!!
The Testaments of the Bible testify to God’s truth,the Latin for witness is testis! The word is used in English as to testify,detest, contest and testicle. Well it seems they bear witness to a man’s virility. If you want to prove that you are a real man, your testicles will testify in your favour!!
Well I have enjoyed learning these and would love to hear what you have to add!
( Inspired by the book of the week on the BBC radio 4,which led me to download the book “The Etymologicon” by Mark Forsythe).