GRADUATION!! (Grad School)

Tuesday, February 20

Words of the days.......

I don’t know if I mentioned this already but my desk calendar for this year is a “Word-A-Day” calendar. I love desk calendars that teach me something. I know I am sick. Sorry. But what I really love is the fact that on the back of each page I get to learn more about the roots of the day’s word. Some words I have known, like disingenuous, or imbue, others are new to me, and still others are words that I thought I new but can have different meanings. Unfortunately, I have been ignoring my calendar since the 12th….I have been rather busy (or lazy depending on how you look at it) here at the office.  So here are a few of the words that I caught up on today. Maybe you guys recognize these words(yes that means you Perry and you too Professor).

February 12th:
Comity (kŏm'ĭ-tē) n: Friendly civility

February 14th:
Twee (twē) adj. Chiefly British: Affectedly or excessively dainty, delicate, cute, or
Apparently this word comes from baby talk, an alteration of the word sweet. In the early 1900’s it was a term of affection, now it just means that you have bypassed sweet and are in the realm of disgusting.

February 17th:
Catawampus (kat-uh-wom-puh s) adj.: Askew, awry, catercorner.

Interesting to note (according to the calendar):
Back in the Middle Ages, the French word for “four” could be spelled quatre or catre. Speaker of Middle English preferred the form cater, and they used the word mainly to refer to the four spots on one side of the die. Someone noticed that you can connect these four spots to make and “X,” a fact that might have helped cater to develop the extended sense of “diagonally.” Over time, that sense was built into dialect compounds meaning “diagonal” or “askew,” including “catercorner,” a word linguists think was later modified to create “catawampus.”

So while all that was interesting….can some one please tell me how that made sense? And how in heavens name was catercorner turned into catawampus?

And Lastly:
February 19th:
Bromide (brō'mīd') n. 1: A compound of bromine and another element or chemical group.
2a: A commonplace or tiresome person
*2b: A commonplace or hackneyed statement or notion

Apparently, in the mid 1800’s potassium bromide was added to medicine to induce sleep. By the 20th century “bromide” was being used to describe anything that might put you to sleep. We have since advanced medically but apparently not figuratively. So there you go…another word for those talks in Church!

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