Don’t try and hoodwink me

Put on your deerstalker hat because I have a poser for you. Where in the world did the word hornswoggle originate from? According to Dictionary.com, it’s a slang word that means “to swindle, cheat, hoodwink, or hoax.” Dating from 1815-1825, its origin is unknown. Source: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/hornswoggle

 

 

Another source, A Way With Words, tells us “the word hornswoggle, meaning “to embarrass” or “to swindle,” is of unclear origin, but definitely seems of a piece with U.S. frontier slang from the 1830s and 1840s.” Source: https://www.waywordradio.org/?s=hornswoggle&submit=search

 

 

Determined to root out the origin, I found this inventive etymology for the word: Unknown, 1829 United States. Presumably horns + waggle with humorous faux ablaut or combination with wobble (compare later woggle, 1923), perhaps inspired by lassoed steers trying to escape by moving or waggling their head. Source: https://www.yourdictionary.com/hornswoggle

not your usual insect!

A gadfly is not ONLY an irritating pest hovering around your poor horse! Sure, it’s a noun: a fly that bites livestock, especially a horsefly, warble fly, or botfly. But its other meaning is: an annoying person, especially one who provokes others into action by criticism.

 

 

Hailing from the late 16th century: from gad, or obsolete gad ‘goad, spike,’ from Old Norse gaddr, of Germanic origin.

Bad Word! You Bad, Bad Word….

I found the word “cacology” on the cool website A.Word.A.Day, here she is! Cacology is a noun that means: 1. A poor choice of words or 2. The incorrect pronunciation of a word. Source: http://wordsmith.org/words/cacology.html

 

 

The etymology breaks down like this: from Greek kakologia: Gr. kako`s bad + -logy,: cf. F. cacologie, , from French cacologie, from cac- + -logie –logy. Its first known use was in 1615. Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cacology

 

 

 

Here’s a wordy quote to show the usage of cacology…

“The phenomena described in 1985 by Amos Joel, computer controlled digital switching system pioneer, are present realities: ‘The trade press, which should know better, is party to the curtain of mysticism, clichés, and cacology around which they shroud the true technology of new products.”-John Buckley; Telecommunications Regulation; Institution of Electrical Engineers; 2003.

My ideal…insect

This is a strange word, it has two completely unrelated meanings…which I find fascinating! Let me know if you agree….

Imago is a noun, meaning:
1. The final or adult stage of an insect.

 

 

2. An idealized image of someone, formed in childhood and persisting in later life.

Etymology: From Latin imago (image). Ultimately from the Indo-European root aim- (copy), which also gave us emulate, imitate, image, imagine, and emulous. Earliest documented use: 1787. Source: http://wordsmith.org/words/imago.html

 

 

Our word for today is from wordsmith.org, where you can sign up to receive a word a day via email!

My guiding star

Lodestar is a noun meaning: someone or something that serves as a guiding principle, model, inspiration, ambition, etc.

 

 

ETYMOLOGY: From Old English lad (way) + star. A lodestar is called so because it’s used in navigation, it shows the way. Earliest documented use: 1374

 

“He was her rock, the lodestar on which she could focus.” Laura Benedict; Bliss House; Pegasus Books; 2014.

Our word for today is from wordsmith.org, where you can sign up to receive a word a day via email!

Gros Melons- Not what you think!

punkin3-sept-21-2015While doing a word search on the internet, I found this information on the word “pumpkin”,

which, coincidentally…….is the name of one of my cats!

 

 

squirrel on pumpkin-small

“During the crisp autumn months, pumpkins pop up everywhere — on our porches, in shop windows, and at the local farmer’s market.

 

 

 

melons-variety1They are part of the gourd family, along with cucumbers, honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupe, and zucchini. Pumpkins were originally called “gros melons“ by French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1584.

 

 

pumpkins-variety1

The English translation was “pompions,” which eventually evolved into our modern word, “pumpkin.” -By Caroline Young”

 

A Sad Goodbye to Mary Tyler Moore

mary-tyler-moore1While watching the Mary Tyler Moore tribute, they used the word “eponymous” referring to her TV show, and I liked the sound of the word so I thought I’d share its meaning and origins with you.

Eponymous is an adjective meaning: 1. Of, relating to, or constituting an eponym, such as “The Mary Tyler Moore” Show.

 

 

he-man_12. Named after something else or deriving from an existing name or word: “Programs such as He-Man and Masters of the Universe … were all created with the explicit purpose of selling the eponymous toys to children”. Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/eponymous

 

 

onyma-greek-wordEtymology notes: Eponymous comes from the Greek adjective epōnymos, which is itself from onyma, meaning “name.” “Onyma” has lent its name to a number of English words, including “synonymous,” “pseudonym,” and “anonymous.” Traditionally, an eponymous person or thing (i.e., an “eponym”) might be a mythical ancestor or totem believed to be the source of a clan’s name.

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eponymous