Word Hoard

Monday, March 12, 2007


Ginger [Late Old English gingifer, gingiber conflated in Middle English with Old French gingi(m)bre, both from medieval Latin gingiber, zingeber from Latin zingiber(i from Greek ziggiberis from Pali singivera from Dravidian: cf. Tamil inci ginger, ver foot (Sanskrit srngavera infl. by srnga horn from its antler-shaped root).]

I like to think that zingeber means carrying zing. It doesn't, but I'd like to think that. Getting back to reality, I do like that we can trace ginger about as far back as any word in English.

In other news, my sister and I each pronounce crayons with one syllable: crans. The OED doesn't agree starting a second syllable with a schwa. I think it might be more of a duration of the sound that ellides the second syllable. I'm not too worried though.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

My Bad

So my linguistic hubris has laid me low again.

In this post's comments, my arrogance is revealed. Please click the link.

I felt that this was the wrong spelling for this. But when reading the definition of Spartan at my local ice cream boutique, after watching 300, I realized I was mistaken.

There is some semantic kinship twixt hardy and hearty, but more to separate them. Hardy is a severe state of invulnerability. Hearty is a condition of vigorous passion; often paired with welcome, it is an active embrace and openness.

Thank you Michael for your admonition, unknowing as it may have been. There is a nice quote about how we know something is crooked by holding against something straight. Our association has straighten'd me.