Saturday, December 16, 2017

Stupid Ideas

It looked so easy. Just sign into another Google account with the click of the button instead of going through the trouble of signing out. My excitement over this lasted about five seconds.

I use my google account for pretty much just email and blogging, so I really can’t see how this is useful. Is there something I’m missing?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Language of Confusion: Other Lows

Now for other things kind of related to things going down.


Trip showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning skip, dance, caper (how often do you hear that word) or basically step lightly. So pretty different from what we know it as. It didn’t mean to fall over something until a century later and there’s nothing about how it managed to go from one to almost the complete opposite, but it’s from the Old French triper, jump/dance around or to strike with the feet. I guess it must have just gone back to the other Old French definition (although to strike something with your foot isn’t necessarily to trip over it).

Fall showed up in the thirteenth century, coming from the Old English feallan, which is just fall. It’s from the Proto Germanic fallan and the Proto Indo European pol-, to fall. And of course the reason that autumn is also called fall is because in the mid sixteenth century people used to say “fall of leaves”. Then, as always, they got lazy.

Slip showed up in the early fourteenth century in the sense that one would “slip away” from something, while the slip and fall sense didn’t come until the mid fourteenth century. It’s believed to be related to the Middle Low German slippen, glide or slide, from the Proto Germanic slipan and Proto Indo European sleib and its root word (s)lei-, which means…slimy, sticky, or slippery. And is where slime comes from. Oh and because things weren’t weird enough, while a woman’s slip is probably related (because it’s something that’s easy to slip in and out of it’s related to slip away), the slip that’s in pink slip is not.

Drop comes from the Old English dropian (the verb to drop) and dropa (the noun drop). Originally, they had to do with liquid, like dropa was a drop of liquid, not a fall, and dropian was to fall in drops like rain. It wasn’t until later that it took on the meaning of anything dropping down. At least I can at least see the logic in that progression. The words come from the Proto Germanic drupon and Proto Indo European dhreu and…that’s it, it looks like.

Sink showed up in the early fifteenth century as a noun meaning a cesspool (or place where sewage collected) and as a verb sometime before that. It comes from the Old English sincan, to sink, Proto Germanic senkwan, and Proto Indo European sengw-, also to sink. Now as for the reason that we clean dishes in a sink and it is no longer a cesspool, it’s because in the late fifteenth century it came to mean a drain for carrying water, and then it became a “shallow basin” with a pipe to drain dirty water, and then calling it a sink in general just stuck I guess.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

From The Spamfiles

Yeah, another spam post. What can I say, it’s the end of the year and I’m running out of steam. Also spam. I used to get scads of spam every day and now it’s usually only once a week. I appreciate the effort of spam blocking but man, it makes it difficult to come up with amusing posts.

Nothing really special about this, just the usual cancer widow needs help with her millions of dollars. But at the end it says “PLZ REPLLY TO MY PRIVATE EMAILBOX BACK” and frankly that’s just hilarious, like she suddenly morphed into a fourteen year old texting on their phone.

About time someone gave me two million dollars for no reason.

Welcome to arnazon!

It’s only been four years. I’m sure the email is still relevant.

When your neighbor emails you, it’s always as “your neighbor”. Otherwise how would you know who it was? Also I love that ASAP is in quotes, and that they put periods after every letter except the P. Maybe it stands for something besides as soon as possible.

Now I’m going to be up all night wondering what A.S.A.P stands for. As soon as P? As serious as P? Artistic Soul Always P?

Saturday, December 9, 2017


A true story.
My mom seems to create entertaining situations. Of course I usually end up getting yelled at.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Language of Confusion: Lows

First we did highs and middles, and now it’s time for the lows.

Bottom comes from the Old English botm (or bodan), ground (and also ground). I guess that makes sense since the ground is usually the bottom of things. Anyway, before that it was the Proto Germanic buthm, which might be from the Proto Indo European bhudhno-, which means bottom. The ground was the bottom, and then the bottom was the ground.

Low showed up in the late thirteenth century, although earlier it appeared as just lah. Weirdly enough, this word isn’t found in Old English, so it’s thought to be from the Old Norse lagr, and before that the Proto Indo European legh-, lie down or lay. That does make sense, although it’s strange that it skipped right over Old English like that. Fun fact, the low that’s a synonym for moo is not related at all, and it actually does have an Old English equivalent.

Down is actually the shortened form of the Old English ofdune, which is a combination of the words of (just of, big surprise) and dune (down). Dune (which is where dune comes from, by the way) comes from dun, which is a hill or mountain. So because things roll down a hill, we have down. Also down as in feathers is totally unrelated because of course it is.

Under is from the Old English under, which means…under. No big surprises here. Before that it was the Proto Germanic under- and Proto Indo European ndher, also under. So I guess we have a winner for least changed word.

Finally today, beneath. It comes from the Old English bineoþan, which looks fancy but is just beneath. It’s a combination of be- (which means by here) and neoþan, which is related to niþera, lowest or under, and the origin word for nether. Niþera can actually be traced to the Proto Germanic nitheraz and Proto Indo European ni-, below or down. Funny how we don’t use nether anymore when we can trace it further back.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December Goals

Holy crap it’s December already. Oh god, that means I have to get my mother a Christmas present. This is not going to be a fun month.

Anyway, goals.

November Goals
1. Sigh. Write in the book. Let’s see how badly I’ll fail it this month.
Well, I did write in it. I finished the outline (kind of). I just haven’t figured out how to get to the final confrontation.

2. Thanksgiving. Ugh, did anyone feel a foreboding chill just now?
It was weirdly not bad, mostly because it was very small so I didn’t have to deal with most of my relatives. Quite a relief.

3. Go through some old projects and notes and see if anything’s worth salvaging.
Didn’t do this, but I’m just pleased that I managed to write SOMETHING last month.

So, this month.

December Goals
1. Update etymology page. I think it’s been a few months and those words add up.

2. Hopefully write something.

3. Christmas. Yeesh.

It’s the last month of the year! What are you going to do?

Saturday, December 2, 2017


I usually write my blog posts for the upcoming week on Thursday, so this is what happened on Thanksgiving…

I mean. It’s not like Friday doesn’t exist for a reason.