Why We Say: E batch
This month’s Why We Say is a batch fresh from the “E” section.
Going back to the Saxon days of England, a person could not build right to the property line since it was mandated that there needed to be space for the drip that rolled off the eaves. This became the “eavesdrip” and someone who leaned near the eavesdrip could hear what was being said in the next house, making them an “eavesdropper.” Maybe this is where the expression of being a “drip” originates from.
What does amber have to do with electricity? Dr. William Gilbert, who was Queen Elizabeth I’s physician in 1601, decided to call the effect he produced when rubbing amber with a cloth “electric,” which comes from elecktron, Greek for amber. What this has to do with QEI, I’m not sure–it might be too shocking to conjecture.
Should you find yourself time traveling back to the royal court of France, you might be handed a card of instructions informing you how to behave. This card or ticket or estiquet eventually became “etiquette” or the rules of social behavior. So does one receive a ticket from the polite police if one does not follow the rules posted on the estiquet?
At no extra charge are a few specials from the F” chapter:
The Latin farcire means “to stuff” and the early religious plays often were stuffed with jokes and comedic scenes which led to humor that was obvious which came to be known as a “farce.”
Going Through Fire and Water
In early times people often had to prove themselves, usually their innocence, by going through some sort of trial. An example of going through fire was having to walk barefoot across hot coals or carrying a red-hot bar. A water test might involve sticking a hand in boiling water. Today, going through extremes, might feel like an endurance test of fire and water.
Fit as a Fiddle
Actually, this should be “fit as a fiddler.” Yeah, playing for a dance all night would take a bit of stamina.
At one time the English word “foggy” meant “fat” or “moss-grown.” The Scotch transferred “foggy” into “fogey” to mean disrespect towards an old man who did not keep up with the times. I suppose moss can grow on a person who doesn’t keep up with change fast enough.
Need more fantabulous “F” sayings? Come back next month. I’ll even throw in some “G” selections.
Now I have that Schoolhouse rock song stuck in my head:
Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:
My Featured Blogger this week is Cricket of the blog site CricketMuse. Cricket is a published writer and a passionate etymologist (words, not bugs). She reviews books, muses on various topics (hence her blog’s title), and serves up tasty tidbits about the stories behind the words we use. Oh, and she also love Shakespeare (a passion we share). I’ve been following her nearly since I began blogging, and will until “Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, so do our minutes hasten to their end.” So shouldst thou!
As a word enthusiast, I shall return.
Very interesting. Always wondered where some
of those words originated from.
An odd hobby of mine—word collecting. Glad you stopped by, hope you come back and visit again!