bogwitch64: (Default)
Lots of almosts, but only one person got all ten. [livejournal.com profile] pjthompson !

Woohoo sparkles for PJ!

Thanks for playing, everyone. And now, for those interested in knowing which ones they got, and which ones they didn't, and the origins behind the words, I give you--THE ANSWERS!

1=e
mystical--Not related to mist, as many believe, it's derived from the Greek word muein, which means close to the mouth or eye and is directly connected to the word "mystery." A mystery, by that light, is something that a mystic promises not to speak of, thus the "mysteries" of faith.

2=i
mohair--though many fine varieties of wool are referred to as "mohair," the word has nothing do to with hair. It is an English effort to spell the Arabic word mukhayyar, which means "of the finest quality."

3=g
pilgarlick--despite appearances, it doesn't mean someone who licks a pilgar, whatever that may be. It is a bald person, someone whose head looks like a peeled garlic. It has come to be synonymous with "wretch."

4=f
omphaloskepsis--A Greek word that translates directly to "navel gazing." Skepsis being a kind of close examination of things, gives us the word "skeptic." Now, navel-gazing, sort of like cat-waxing, has negative connotations. To the Greeks, it was quite the contemplative term indeed.

5-a
thimble--In meieval English, the suffix -le often denotes something belonging to a specific something, or is a relative to something else. In this case, the "thimble" means an instrument that belongs to the thumb.

6=j
February--To Roman's, February would have been a month for fever. A februum was a kind of ritual purification held each year on the 15th of the month, involving fasting, as food supplies would often be rather short by this time of year.

7=c
heinous--Coming from the French word haine, "hate," heinous is equivalent to, though stronger than our word "hateful."

8=d
trichologist--a mock-scientific word for hairdresser, from the Greek word trichos, meaning "hair."

9-b
nudnik--The Polish word nuda is related to the French word ennui, meaning a rather spiritually-crushing boredom. Yiddish speakers borrowed the Polish word, added the agentive suffic -nik to it, and gave the name to a person who will bore you to tears without ever realizing they're doing so.

10-h
zit--We all know what a zit is, and no one really knows the exact origins of the word, but dictionaries credit US teen slang from the 1960's with the coinage. One guess is that it's a slurred, "What is it?" and was first applied to lint, like, "What's that lint on your coat?" before making it to a teenager's face.


bogwitch64: (Default)
I kept several of the words from the Word Origins Calendar my friend tore off for me. Rather than jotting them down here and saying, "Now isn't that interesting?" I thought I'd make a game of it.

On the left, numbered words. On the right, the definition according to origin. See how many you get right! Tomorrow, I'll give the answers and the full origins, for any interested.

1. mysticala. an instrument that belongs to the thumb
2. mohairb. one who will obliviously bore you to tears
3. pilgarlickc. hateful
4. omphaloskepsisd.  hairdresser
5. thimblee. close to the mouth or eyes
6. Februaryf. navel-gazing
7. heinousg. bald person
8. trichologisth. lint
9. nudniki. of the finest quality
10. zitj. a time of ritual purification involving fasting

No cheating! Don't look them up. That's no fun. See how you do just by using your ninja-word-skillz.
bogwitch64: (Default)
A friend of mine who knows I love words and their histories has been saving (unbeknownst to me!) the torn off pages from her Word Origin Calendar. Now that's a friend!

I read them all, kept a few to share with you. Here's one of them:

manga: The Japanese word, "manga," mostly used to refer to a modern commic-book style of illustration, has roots in a phrase that means "a rambling or aimless picture" --in other words, a scribble. The noted nineteeth-century artist Hokusai used it to refer to his doodles, and the word took an approving turn. A "manga" turned into a moving form called an anime, a Japanese version of the word "animated."

I'm not into anime or comics, but I know many who are, and I thought you might find this interesting. Could well be those of you I posted this for already know this! Hey, my intentions are good. :)

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