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Words of the Day (9/18)

Every Friday I post a few of my favorite etymologies and vocab words.

Check out all my Words of the Day posts HERE.

Etymologies:

  • Avocado: (noun. A pear-shaped fruit with a rough leathery skin, smooth oily flesh, and a large stone.) The Aztecs first called this fruit the ahucatl (testicle). It was called this either because of a physical resemblance, or because they thought it was an aphrodisiac. The Spanish misheard the word as avocado, and brought the fruit along with the incorrect name back to Europe.
  • Big: (noun. Of considerable size.) This one is weird… it’s such a common word, but the origin is actually still unknown!
  • Dog: (noun. The pet.) Like big, dog also has no clear origin. It appeared in Old English (OE) as docga, replacing OE hund. Most other Indo-European languages have words similar to hund (=> hound) or chien (French), but one can find how dog arrived. The Spanish word for dog (perro) also appeared without a clear origin.

Vocabulary:

  • Anachronism: noun. Something located in a time when it couldn’t have existed or occurred. “Everything looked just as it would have in 1776… except for one anachronism, the bright red fire truck.”
  • Diaphanous: adjective. Light, delicate, or translucent. “The girl drew the diaphanous veil over her face.”
  • Polemical: adjective. Of or involving dispute or controversy. “The polemical essay caused quite a stir in the academic community.”

Have a great weekend!


1 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. 1

    I think the words “BIG” and “DOG” were created when the Spaniards were stealing the Ahucatls…

    it also might explain why they “mis heard” the propper pronounciation of it..

    hard to run from Big Dogs and actually HEAR what the natives are yelling at you!

    I had me some avocado in my Smoothie this morning…


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