#etymology, #lyrics, #tohu, #trivia-tuesday, #verse


#etymology, #linguistics, #logos, #saleratus, #words

Wherefore ‘ben Alexander’?

Some basics of Jewish names Most Jewish people have Jewish names, which they use in religious contexts, although they do not necessarily go by them in public. Some Jewish names like mine (David) are universal enough, but others do not roll off the gentile tongue so easily. Jewish names are typically of Jewish languages: primarily […]

Wherefore ‘ben Alexander’?

1. This is third post by the same author within a month being shared here because:

2. I think it’s very engrossing. Names always tell interesting stories. Unlike some other proper names: personal names are associated with most intelligent beings: humans.

3. This post has a story about author’s full name. I could simply relate it with Hindu names which have been subject of study for me.

4. Hindu women adopt their husband’s surname in Middle-North India after marriage.

5. Some women keep both:

For example: Sarita Tripathi Mishra

Here: Tripathi is a surname which means ‘one who reads three lessons everyday.’

‘Mishra is a surname which means mixed.’

The first one was surname of lady’s father and second that of her husband: she kept both of them.

6. Some ladies even keep their husband’s popular names as middle names:

For example: Aneeta Lallu Choudhary

Here: Lallu is a popular name meaning ‘beloved or adorable or simpleton’ Choudhary is surname and Aneeta is first name.

7. Using father’s or mother’s name as middle names is most common in South India. It’s prevalent practice even among some Muslim brothers:

APJ Abdul Kalam had full name as:

Abul Pakir Jainul Abedin Abdul Kalam

First four names were names of his father(which had name of his grandfather)


H. D. Devegauda

Hardan Halli Done Dauda Devegauda

8. It’s also common to use name of native villages.

Leonardo Da Vinci is an European name I used today morning in a post. He was born in Vinci, Florence, Italy.

Honnavara B. Vinay was one of my team leads in Chennai. He was related to a place called Honnavara in Karnataka.

9. A full fledged article on names would take more space than this. I only intended this one to be a comment as I wanted to share David Ben Alexander’s insightful article with you. Kindly visit his site and enjoy reading this post. Thank you!

#alexander, #ben, #common-names, #david, #etymology, #names


1. The 13th day in the Deendayal Rasoi was also synchronicitically the 13th lunar day of month as per lunar calendar.

2. I registered 63 titles yesterday.

3. I have completed reading 20 pages from the book ‘Aditi and other deities in Veda’ by M. P. Pandit published by Sri Aurobindo Press Pondicherry. It has 185 pages.

4. I had a brief discussion on ‘strike-breaker’ import of word ‘scab’ as i described its etymological story discovered by me.

5. What passions music can’t raise or quell?(Dryden) I heard Mirza Ghalib.

6. Played 10 vocabulary jams. Bondboy was absent. Here’s a summary of my scores:

A. First rank: thrice.

B. Second rank: thrice.

C. Third rank: thrice.

D. Fifth rank: once.

Here’s a Tohu verse made with words culled from jams:

Curmudgeon on and on mud

Drums beat bogged down by gown

Blubber berry berserk dereliction

Dryden much fun

Compunction unction

Ions on onions

Snow won now on Mount Meru


#books, #etymology, #library, #tohu, #verse

Evidently, I like this word

Evidently – (adverb) obviously; apparently; clearly; without question; clearly; undoubtedly

Origin: 1325-75; Middle English

I picked this word for the day because my friends use it all the time to describe what evident events happen in their disturbing lives. My friend, Robbie, uses it when she talks about the agency that helps her exist: “Evidently, my coordinator forgot to call me about my new schedule!” And my old friend that is the maintenance man for my ex-clients uses it when he talks about their goofy landlord: “Evidently, Stephan hasn’t come by to get the rent from your apartment yet. Sap!”

I really like this word because when people use it, they make me laugh and seem more intelligent than the average population in America (Thank Goodness.)

Evidently, I ain’t awake.

Xara Nahara O’Connor

P.S.: My source is

#etymology, #weekly

Word of the Week (5/30/16): Degenerate

Word of the Week: Degenerate


Degenerate (noun) dih-jen-er-it; (verb) dih-jen-uh-reyt

(verb usage) – to fall below a normal or desirable level in physical, mental, or moral qualities
(adjective) – bad, haven fallen below the normal and/or desirable level in physical, mental, and moral qualities
(noun) – a person who has declined in terms of moral character; a sexual deviate; a person who reverts back to an earlier culture, stage of development, and/or state of evolution

Origin: The origin of “degenerate” is Latin. The word began to be used some time between 1485 and 1495.

Latin dēgenerātus (past participle of dēgenerāre to decline from an ancestral standard), equivalent to dē de- + gener-, stem of genus race (see genus ) + -ātus -ate; see generate

I actually do not like this word very much because it sounds very harsh and is very insulting. I would honestly rather hear the word “fuck” than this word. My fiancé loves to say this word because he finds a lot of things degenerate, but I guess I am just weird and would rather hear another word/phrase to describe the state of things, like horribly ridiculous.

Xara Nahara O’Connor

((P.S. I cringed while typing the word, by the way.

P.S.S. Sorry I ran late on posting, but in America, it’s Memorial Day. But I didn’t celebrate it the typical way. I was working from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST, and then I got caught up in napping, taking a shower, trolling the planet, and talking to my best friend.))

#etymology #weekly

Calling all Word Nerds for June scheduling

We are looking to fill the Word Nerd calendar for June. Please post your reply and let me know what dates you would like. I will take whatever date doesn’t get picked. Does ANYONE ELSE want to write about a favorite word? Don’t be shy. You don’t have to be a word nerd just to join in the fun.

Do you want/need a reminder as your date approaches? I’ll happily send reminders to whomever needs. Please state in your reply.

Your @name
What date(s) you want & do you want a reminder?
Ongoing or one time (if you aren’t a regular contributor)

Any questions, thoughts, comments…

June 6
June 13
June 20
June 27
July 4

A couple reminders, please remember to tag your post #etymology, #weekly so they will show up those categories. Also, when you post, there are 3 dots in the upper right hand corner, please click on that and “stick post to home”. The admins will unstick the next day.

Thanks all!


Word of the Week: Essence

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and soul-searching lately and one of the questions I asked myself was: what is the essence of who I am? That’s going to take a long time to figure out, if I ever do, but I thought it would be a good word for this week. Essence is the name of a magazine, a perfume/cologne, and a cosmetics company, among other things. But the name for each of these products/companies was chosen for a reason, so I dove in to find the meaning of essence. I don’t know that this information will help me in my soul-searching, but being a word nerd I always find word origins, and sometimes an unexpected definition, interesting.



  1. the basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing or its significant individual feature or features: e.g., Freedom is the very essence of our democracy.
    2. a substance obtained from a plant, drug, or the like, by distillation, infusion, etc., and containing its characteristic properties in concentrated form.
    3. an alcoholic solution of an essential oil; spirit.
    4. a perfume; scent.
  2. philosophy. the inward nature, true substance, or constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory, etc.
    6. something that exists, especially a spiritual or immaterial entity.


  1. in essence: essentially; at bottom, often despite appearances: e.g., For all his bluster, he is, in essence, a shy person.
  2. of the essence: absolutely essential; critical; crucial: e.g., In chess, cool nerves are of the essence.

Origin of essence

1350-1400: Middle English essencia from Medieval Latin essentia from Latin esse (to be).


substance, spirit, lifeblood, heart, principle, soul, core.

Source: Unabridged

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016


#etymology, #weekly

Word of the Week: Expedite

Everyone seems to be in a hurry all the time.  Everything needs to be done yesterday.  When did this shift occur in the time space continuum that there wasn’t/isn’t enough time to do everything we need or want to do? Continue reading

#etymology, #weekly

Word of the Week: Rostrum




plural rostra

  1. a raised platform on which a person stands to make a public speech, receive an award or medal, play music, or conduct an orchestra.For example: Speaker after speaker stepped up to the rostrum
  2. a raised platform supporting a film or television camera.Example: A rostrum camera
  3. the curved end of a ship’s prow; especially:  the beak of a war galley.
  4. Zoology: a bodily part or process suggesting a bird’s bill as the beak, snout, or proboscis of any of various insects or arachnids and the often spinelike anterior median prolongation of the carapace of a crustacean (as a crayfish or lobster).

Source: Merriam-Webster

The origin of the word goes back to the the mid 16th century. In ancient Rome and Greece, military victories were commemorated with a display of captured arms and standards. These were popularly called Trophies from Greek tropaion, monument of an enemy’s defeat. In ancient Greece, spoils or arms taken in battle and set up on the field and dedicated to a god




a cup or other decorative object awarded as a prize for a victory or success.

Warships in those days had pointed beams, called “beaks,” sticking out from the bows. They were used to ram and sink enemy ships. To celebrate the first great naval victory of the Roman republic over Antium in 338 B.C.E, the Romans gathered the beaks of the losers’ ships. They hung them in back of the speaker’s platform in the Forum in Rome from which orations, pleadings, etc., were delivered. The Latin word for the ship’s beak was rostrum, from the Latin “Rodere” which literally means a beak or a means to gnaw. The word was first used in its plural form, rostra, to denote the platform built. In time rostra came to be used for any speaker’s platform, not just one decorated with the beaks of ships.

It was in the 18th century that it started being used in English in it’s present form, the Latin singular rostrum to mean “a speaker’s platform”. Other words for such a structure include dais, podium and tribune.

Ripe knowledge in mighty pulsations goes forth from the rostrum, and permeates society.
“The Progressionists, and Angela.”
by Conrad von Bolanden
So now that you know about the origin of the word, would you like to try a 6 word or 13 word story on this?
Have a great Monday!