This crazy language called English
It’s surprising how so many people rarely use a dictionary. You can find out some very interesting things about words if you take note of the etymology, the origin of the word.
This writer has about thirty dictionaries in several language.
If we don’t take a look at the origin of a word we can come to some silly conclusions.
Why doesn’t the word ‘cremate’ mean ‘turn into cream’? After all, ‘cream’ is ‘crème’ in French.
It used to be thought that men can’t get hysterical because the word hysterical comes from the Latin word, ‘hystericus’ which means ‘womb’. Had that idea changed?
Why doesn’t aspirate mean ‘to produce aspirins’?
Why doesn’t ‘innocuous’ mean ‘having something ‘nocuous’ in it?
The prefix, ‘in’ can mean either ‘in’ or ‘not’. That can get confusing. It’s too bad we didn’t stick to only using ‘un’ for not.
The flower called baby’s breath smells more like baby’s butt! Talk about being poorly named!
Why don’t ‘bough, cough, and dough’ rhyme?
Why not ‘good, gooder, goodest’? Every child has trouble with that.
Look at all the words that mean ‘insane asylum: bug house, booby hatch, nut house, and Brits say ‘bedlam’, so-called from an asylum called Bethlehem which came out as Bedlam in dialect.
Did you know that you can use a buck saw to saw wood on a saw buck. ( a saw horse is the usual name for it).
The word ‘carouse’ has been highly altered. From face value you might thing that it comes from French or Spanish, but it comes from German, ‘gar’ which is slang for ‘completely’ and ‘austrinken’ which means ‘to drink up’.
And to whom does a caterpillar cater?
Americans think of a chaise lounge as a chair to lounge in, but the word is supposed to be, ‘chaise longue’, literally ‘a long chair’. Don’t confuse ‘davit’ with ‘divot’. Someone who is ‘bebonaire(e) is someone of ‘good air’ well-bred.
Should old facilities be called ‘fossilities’?