Word Hoard

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Homeward, Bound

This morning at work, I was laying out 23 boxes that were headed to Grizzly Flats, CA for a convention and our IT guy, Brent, on his way through joked that I was setting up an obstacle course. Drawing on our common love of football, I told him about a TV bit on Brian Urlacher's off-season workout and some plyometrics where he was bounding up three foot steps one leg at a time.

This brought bound to my mind. Like fast and cleave it is a word that carries opposite meanings within itself. This morning, I was only thinking of the past tense of bind and to move with energy. But tonight, with my nightcap ala mode (Ivanna Cone and their dictionary)I was reminded of the directional and border senses.

The etymology I want to hone in on is that of the directional sense. OED:

bound adj. Orig. boun. ME.
[Old Norse buinn pa. pple of bua prepare, -d partly euphonic, partly infl. by next: cf. BOUN verb.]
1 Ready, prepared; attired. ME-M19
2 Ready to start or having set out (for, on, to); moving in a specified direction. LME
3 About to do, going to do, north. M19

What I love about the word's history is that is keeps getting bigger (increasingly "attired" if you will). It started as bua then added some letters in its past participle form. I don't know if there was an English form of bua or if they just borrowed buinn, but it seems that we only like the completed form of prepare, which says something about our culture.

In other news, tonight in the aforementioned perusal of Ivanna Cone's dictionary I came to the realization that arabesque means Arab-like. I don't know how that flew under my radar previously, but it did.

In my other blog I'm collecting dog names. I met a black cockerpoo born around the fourth of July in 2006 named Stalker.


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