Etymology of the day: neighbor

Neighbor comes from the Old English neahgebur, meaning “near-dweller.” The first part, neah, means and gives us “nigh.” Its modern replacement, near, is the comparative form (faster < fast) of neah, and literally means “more nigh.” The second part, gebur, is “dweller.”

buildings-1209850_1280.jpg
(Pixabay)

m ∫ r ∫

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Advertisements

Etymology of the day: avocado

Today is National Avocado Day. Why don’t you observe it with a little etymology?

Via Spanish, avocado comes from the Nahuatl (Aztec) ahuacatl. It means “testicle.” (Try that on some toast.) The Nahuatl language also gives us the words tomato and chocolate, as I discuss in an old post.

avocado-1712583_1920.jpg
(Pixabay)

m ∫ r ∫

Etymology of the day: woebegone

Woebegone doesn’t mean “Woe, go away!” It means “beset with woe.” The begone comes from an old, obsolete verb, bego, “to go about, surround,” among other senses. So, in Middle English, you might have heard the expression: “Me is wo begon.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 9.03.14 AM.png
(Frinkiac)

m ∫ r ∫

Etymology of the day: uncouth

Uncouth originally meant “unknown,” from the Old English cuth (known), past participle of cunnan (to know), source of can. Its sense evolved from “unknown” to “strange” to “clumsy” to “unsophisticated.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.00.36 AM.png
(Frinkiac)

m ∫ r ∫

Etymology of the day: accolade

m ∫ r ∫

Etymology of the day: wilderness

m ∫ r ∫

Etymology of the day: hot dog

A quick note

Earlier this year, I was posting short “etymologies of the day” on the blog, a practice that I’ve continued on Twitter. I figured there was no reason to deprive those who primarily follow me on here of these daily nuggets of word history. Click the hashtag, #EtymologyOfTheDay, to catch up on some older content, which I suspect I’ll post on the blog from time to time. Enjoy, and I hope I didn’t ruin your appetite.

m ∫ r ∫

Etymology of the Day: Thousand

In the previous post, we learned hundred literally means “count of 100.” How about the next multiple of ten up the scale, thousand?

money-1428594_1280.jpg
The etymology of “thousand” gives new meaning to a “wad of cash.” (Pixabay)

Continue reading “Etymology of the Day: Thousand”

Etymology of the Day: Stroll

Stroll

Stroll has referred to “leisurely walking” since at least 1680, but in the beginning of the 1600s, the word wasn’t quite so innocent and carefree.

pram-1584471_1920.jpg
Keep your eye on this stroller? (Pixabay)

Continue reading “Etymology of the Day: Stroll”

Etymology of the day: the hazy origins of “hazy”

Are you feeling a little hazy after 4/20? Maybe from some purple haze? No, no, I’m sure you were just listening to the Jimi Hendrix song. Well, you’re not alone, as the etymology of hazy is itself quite hazy.

foggy-1082164_1280.jpg
Do rabbits like to home-brew? (Pixabay)

Continue reading “Etymology of the day: the hazy origins of “hazy””