Word Hoard

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


My sister cleaned today in anticipation of the arrival of our mother and our trip to Virginia, which unrelatedly happens to be for lovers. We had some spider webs in the corners of our bay window ceiling. In the vernacular, these are cobwebs. She asked why they were called cobwebs, and I said, "I don't know, but I'll find out, and I bet it has something to do with Old English." I'm right.

Cobweb comes from Middle Englishcoppeweb which comes from Old English attercoppe, atter--poison and copp--head.

Spider comes from ME spither from OE spithra.

(At Meteorology School John Hodgman, resident expert at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, majored in Hurricanes and minored in Crisp Fall Days.)


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