This week, US President Donald Trump’s policy of separating families seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border, well, separated our hearts. We’ve seen the cruel ironies of etymology on this blog before. The word separate, alas, is no exception.
Month: June 2018
“Raccoon”: an etymological show of hands?
Earlier this week, a raccoon dramatically scaled a skyscraper in St. Paul, Minnesota. Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) captured the event—and the attention and hearts of the internet. The #MPRRaccoon, as it came to be called, eventually summited the building, where it was caught and released into the wild, but not before going viral first.
This courageous climber truly lived up to its name, though, for the ultimate origin of the word raccoon its all about the hands.
Continue reading ““Raccoon”: an etymological show of hands?”
The etymological routes of “trade”
At the G7 summit in Canada this week, Donald Trump’s recent tariffs are sparking unprecedented trade disputes with some of the US’s closest allies.
We considered the origins of tariff not long back on the blog (and embargo well before it). But how about the word trade itself?
It takes a path into English you might not have guessed.
What is the “feck” in “feckless”?
Heads up: strong language ahead.
Comedian Samantha Bee sparked controversy this week when she called Ivanka Trump a “feckless cunt” for her political complicity. The obscene remark, which Bee has since apologized for, had some wryly observing: why is everyone up in arms over feckless?
I think feckless and cunt are due for the etymological treatment.