Interesting word etymologies and phrase origins

Rafagon

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#1
Is there an etymology of a word or an origin of a phrase you find interesting and would like to share with your fellow eiC'ers/iPopuli'ers? Do it here, and our collective wisdom will increase.

"Just joshing you."

BONUS: The word "etymology" is derived from the Greek etymon (ἔτυμον), meaning "true sense," and the suffix -logia, denoting "the study of." (Sources: 1, 2)
 

Rafagon

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#5
catty-corner is a corruption of cater-corner, and phrase has a rather interesting history. Another such corruption is "kitty-corner."

So, who wants another one?

-[Many in the ground eagerly raise their hands.]

Okay, you want it, you got it.

cattywampus

Sample sentence: The hairdresser, who smelled like un unbathed alpaca, and whose breath reeked of Natural Ice, was obviously fresh out of cosmetology school, as the haircut she gave me was completely cattywampus.
 

Rafagon

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#7
This post deviates slightly from the thread title, but it does deal with the origin of an important part of any langauge: punctuation marks.

Here's a digram showing one possible origin of the question mark from Latin word quaestiō, meaning "question."

q.jpeg

You can read more about the question mark, its interesting history, its different forms in other langauges, and more at its Wikipedia entry, which is the source of the above diagram.
 
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Rafagon

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#10
The Bluetooth communications protocol is named after Harald Bluetooth, ostensibly due to his abilities to make diverse factions communicate with each other. According to legend, he gained the nickname "Bluetooth" from his love of blueberries, which stained his teeth. The Bluetooth logo consists of the Nordic runes for his initials, H and B (Long-branch runes version).
 

Rafagon

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#11
bupkis, which is in common usage to mean "nothing, zilch, nada" comes from the Yiddish "bobkes" meaning "(large) beans", which in turn comes from "kozebopkes" meaning "goat droppings"

There is a more emphatic expression (in Yiddish more so than in English) — "Bupkis mit Kuduchas", translating roughly to "shivering sh*t balls" - "kuduchas" referring to the condition of generalized shaking palsy.

Source:
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bupkis
 

Napoleon PhoneApart

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#15
These tests are great, but they allow people to take the test over and over again until they achieve the score they want. This test is also dependent upon the person's typing skills. It's a good test, but I wouldn't put too much stock in it.
 

Rafagon

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#18
It went smoothly for me in Safari. And yes, good typing skills help a hell of a lot! I also identified some words I was shamefully very poor at spelling:

Idiosyncrasy
Hypocrisy
Ecstasy

Seems I have a bit of an issue with words ending in uh-SEE.
 

Rafagon

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#20
Why π for 3.14? Why not α, β, or ω?

"The Greek letter π, often spelled out pi in text, was first adopted for the number as an abbreviation of the Greek word for perimeter "περίμετρος" (or as an abbreviation for "perimeter/diameter") by William Jones in 1706."

Learn more about π. (Also the source of the above sentence.)