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 dictionary.com

#etymology, #weekly

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

Word of the Week: Degenerate

(source: Dictionary.com)

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: Dictionary.com 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!

Hey YOU!

Yes, you… With the blog and something to say… Do you have a favorite word? We’d love to hear about it. Something you find yourself saying all the time. Does someone say something that drives you bonkers? I have so many friends who hate the word moist. Does it bug you? What is it you enjoy about old English? Or British versus American English. What is you love or hate about slang?

We know you have some words that you love and hate. We want to know about them. So what we need is for YOU to write a post telling us about that word. Tell us a story, tell us anything, write a poem, a limerick, a haiku, and then tell us the definition and the origins of your word.

Does this sound like something familiar? This is our WEEKLY WORD NERD FEATURE ON ETYMOLOGY! 
Short term, I have two dates I need to fill. You can write in advance and “schedule” it to post for you. Or if you are like me, you can post the day of. I need someone May 6 & 30th.

Whether you’d like to do it once or on going is up to you. Please reply with the following information.

Your @name
What date(s) you want & do you want a reminder?
Ongoing or one time
Any questions, thoughts, comments…

Thanks all!


Word of the Week – Plebeian

Has anyone ever called you a pleb or have you heard someone refer to something as plebeian?

ple·be·ian (plĭ-bē′ən)

adjective: 1. Of or relating to the common people of ancient Rome; 2. Of, belonging to, or characteristic of, commoners; 3. Unrefined or coarse in nature or manner; common or vulgar: plebeian tastes.

Used in a sentence: The millionaire called the hotel a plebeian accommodation because it did not offer room service.

noun – pleb:  1. One of the common people of ancient Rome; 2. A member of the lower classes; 3. A vulgar or coarse person.

Used in a sentence: The pleb got on his knees and begged the prince for money to buy food for his family.

Latin plēbēi(us) of the plebs (adj. derivative of plēbē(s) plebs) + -an, the common people

Plebeian first appeared in English in 1533 with reference to Roman history, meaning ‘a Roman commoner’, or ‘a member of the plebs’. The plebs were the mass of ordinary people in the Roman Republic as distinct from the loftier nobles (or patricians) who ruled as senators and consuls and claimed descent from the original citizen families of Ancient Rome.

The word was already pejorative in the original Latin – apparently nobody wants to be a mere commoner – and the more negative sense of ‘a person not of noble or privileged rank’ was born almost simultaneously in English. It’s now mainly derogatory, used for ‘a person of low social status, a common or vulgar person’.

The first shortened use, pleb, appeared in 1795, in a play (Life’s Vagaries) by the Irish writer, John O’Keeffe: You’re under my roof, you pleb.

This short plosive monosyllable has been popular ever since, in both the neutral sense (a member of the ordinary people or working classes) and the loaded (an unsophisticated or uncultured person).

If anything, plebeian and pleb seem to have gained in derogatory force over the years, so that now we are most likely to take them as slights. Certainly, the colloquial shortening to pleb adds a curtness which sounds peculiarly offensive to our modern ears. Perhaps with less rigid class divisions and social boundaries than before, we are even more sensitive to being consigned to the lowliest of them – especially so in class-conscious Britain. And yet pleb, like its near-equivalent, plebe, is also a colloquial status putdown in the U.S., used within the strict hierarchies of military academies to denote a low-ranking newbie, ‘a new cadet at a military or naval academy’.

 In Britain, where classes are still important to many today, public schools of the 18th and 19th centuries deliberately modeled themselves on ancient Greece and Rome. In public school parlance, a pleb was a pupil who was not a member of the landed classes. As these public schoolboys left school to run the British Empire, it seems they took the word with them to describe the lower orders.

These days, the word is mostly used by somebody about themselves as a mark of false modesty, such as, “I’m such a pleb when it comes to modern art.” It’s rarer to hear pleb used as an insult, although chef Gordon Ramsay used it to put down rival restaurateur Sir Terence Conran in 2003, saying  “I think he is a pleb. I would rather have food at my four-year-old daughter’s prep school than eat at Quaglino’s.”

It’s similar to some sex- or race-based insults, where it’s OK to use it of oneself, but certainly not OK to use it of someone else.

And the British government has been accused several times of alluding to the word. In 2011, an agency released a newsletter highlighting the problem of what it described as People Lacking Everyday Basic Skills. Once people figured out the full import of the acronym, the agency found itself in a heap of trouble.

#etymology, #weekly-features #weekly

Calling Word-Nerds for May

We are looking to fill the Word Nerd calendar for May. Please 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. Just reply to this post.

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

4/18 Barb
4/25 Ananya
5/2 Lula Harp
5/9 Barb @barbct
5/16 amommasview
5/23 Ananya
5/30 (FYI, Memorial Day) xaranahara

A couple reminders, and I’m guilty of remembering these as well. 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.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for expanding our vocabulary!


Word of the Week: Exhaust

I think the thing that has surprised me most about being in my 40’s is the sheer exhaustion and strength it takes to recover. Recover from an injury, day out working in the yard, staying out too late, or drinking too much. It exhausts me, and then takes me days, weeks, or months to recover.

There was once the day I would fall and immediately bounce back up. I’d brush myself off and continue on like nothing had happened. Now when I fall, a bruise sets in, followed by aches I’ve never know, and then I am limited by what I can do the next day.

Yesterday I spent a beautiful day in the sun, working at the barn. Scraping railings and painting. Today Coe and I are gimpy and napping all day. We got out for a short walk, but immediately came home for a nap like we hadn’t slept in a week.

Etymology:  Latin exhaust- participial stem of exhaurīre (an obsolete word meaning to draw out or forth.  Exhaust first used in 1540.

The more common definition of exhaust that we are accustomed to was found in 1541:

To use up completely (either a material or immaterial thing); to expend the whole of; to consume entirely

Exhaustion as I am referring to:

The state of being exhausted of strength, energy, etc.; extreme loss of strength.

a1639    H. Wotton Let. in  Reliquiæ Wottonianæ(1672) 334   Great exhaustions cannot be cured with sudden remedies.

Ginger kitty is fully recovered from her injury and is allowed on the patio while I’m home. Not necessarily supervised, but if something happens, at least I know about it. She, Coe and I have spent our Sunday moving from sunny spot to shade, soft chair to the floor, and from one room to another. I really don’t know when this magical transformation took place and I’m honestly too exhausted to ponder it more. Holy moly I’ve used up all the energy I had stored typing this up.

Do you have a 6 word story for exhaustion? I have two for you.

I’m too exhausted to get up.
This is a perfect napping spot.

#weekly, #etymology

(@barbct, here is a reminder you are up next monday)