Why do we say “second” and not “twoth”?

Thanks in large part to the impassioned activism of the #NeverAgain movement, the news hasn’t moved on from the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, as it has too often in recent massacres in the US. The pressure is staying on gun control, keeping the Second Amendment to the US Constitution in the hot seat.

The Second Amendment is also in this post’s etymological hot seat. I’m not debating its constitutional interpretation, though. I’m debating why we say second and not twoth.   

clock-692416_1920.jpg
The second hand is really the third hand on a clock, which has no first hand. (Pixabay

Continue reading “Why do we say “second” and not “twoth”?”

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”

The origin of “hundred” doesn’t exactly equal “100”

Donald Trump is coming up on his first one hundred days in office, a conventional measure of the initial success of a new president going back to FDR. But with a thwarted agenda, palace intrigue, and some self-inflicted wounds, Trump is pushing back against the meaningfulness of this traditional 100-day benchmark. What’s a hundred days, after all? he’s asking. Etymologically, Trump may just have a point: The word hundred is a little trickier to reckon than you may think. 

light-paint-933160_1920.jpg
The etymology of hundred may have you seeing double. (Pixabay
)

Continue reading “The origin of “hundred” doesn’t exactly equal “100””