Polar – Heavenly

Polar, directly opposite to. Polar is a mid 16th Century word which is a derivative of the Latin word ‘Polaris’ (like the star), which meant ‘heavenly’. Its first recorded use in the sense of ‘opposite’ was in 1832 but it has been applied to the bears since the 1700s. Advertisements

WiFi – Wireless HiFi

WiFi – a wireless computer network. The word ‘WiFi’ is ubiquitous in today’s society, it’s advertised in cafe windows, it’s at work, it’s even in our homes. But why on earth is it called WiFi? WiFi is actually a trade name developed by a group called the ‘Wireless compatibility Alliance’ who were one of many…

Invoice – People who go to the road

Invoice – ‘a list of goods sent or services provided, with a statement of the sum due for these’. The word comes from the French word ‘envois’ meaning ‘to send’, it’s also, where we get the word ‘envoy’ from. ‘Envois’ is a variant of the early Latin word ‘inviare’, the ‘in’ part meaning ‘on’ and…

Chivalry – Not killing during dinner

Chivalry – generally used to mean courtesy, especially male to female. But where does the word come from? What was it? And is it dead? The word comes from the 13th century – being a time when the French were in power in Britain, French was the language of the government and of the military,…

Power – From Latin ‘Ability’

Power, the ability to do something. The word reached English from the Anglo-Norman-French word ‘poeir’, having reached Britain with the Norman invasion of 1066. ‘poeir’ was a derivative of the Latin word ‘potis’ meaning ‘to be able’. The root word, is the Proto-Indo-European word ‘poti’ which meant ‘powerful’ – it is also the root of…

Whitewashing – Cheap lies

Whitewashing: Distortion of the facts to glorify the results, particularly by those in authority. The first recorded use of the term was as far back as 1591. Whitewash initially referred to the use of cheap white paint for coating walls, in order to give the appearance of cleanliness. It was in the early 1800s that…

Mark – Boundaries dedicated to gods

Mark – To make a visible impression on. Where does the word come from, and does it have anything to do with the name? The word mark, reached us via the Anglo-Saxons when they came when they came to Britain in around 400 CE, their word was ‘mearc’ which in turn, came from the proto-germanic…