Word Hoard

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I was reading something and there was the word bother. I thought, that is a pretty cool word, wonder where it comes from. So here we go:

says it is probably from bodder and possibly of Celtic origin. There's even a botheration. What a fun latinization.

Michael, is there a possibility of an orthographical shift based on the d being taken for a thorn or ash?

From my A.Word.A.Day email, one of my more consistently appreciated word a day emails, edited by Anu Garg:

jugulate (JOO-gyuh-layt) verb tr. 1 To stop something by extreme measures. 2 To slit the throat.

From Latin jugulatus, past participle of jugulare (to cut the throat), from jugulum (collarbone, neck), diminutive of jugum (yoke). Ultimately from the Indo-European root yeug- (to join) that is also the ancestor of such words as junction, yoke, yoga, adjust, juxtapose, and junta.

I like this word because it replaces the phrase "go for the throat." Much more efficient. I can hardly wait to start making it part of my regular lexicon. We already have a form of the concept as part of the jargon around the shipping department at AdventSource. When we are particularly busy, or particularly short handed which then makes us a bit busier, we say that it is "boot to the throat time" or "boot to the throat" for short. I'll mention more AS jargon some other time.

Society prepares the crime; the criminal commits it. -Henry Thomas Buckle,
historian (1821-1862)


  • At December 28, 2006 2:35 AM, Blogger Michael Covarrubias said…

    I take it you mean to ask if the 'd' could have been confused with a backwards thorn or an uncrossed 'eth' (the ash being the ae letter).

    It doesn't seem too likely to me. That seems to me the type of mistake that might be made by a scribe here and there--but not the type that would become a trend.

    I'm not sure if we need to look at an orthographic shift. the d>'th' sound change showed up in words like 'father' 'mother' and 'rather'. It makes enough sense as a motivated sound change.

  • At December 28, 2006 4:06 AM, Blogger Daniel said…

    Thank you. Motivated sound change it is.


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