Cedar – Magical trees

Cedar – Type of conifer. The word ‘Cedar’ comes from the Latin word ‘cedrus’ which meant ‘immortality’, the Roman’s believing that the tree had supernatural powers, a belief they got from the Egyptians. ‘cedrus’, comes from a Greek word ‘kedros’, no magic involved, they just meant the tree. Advertisements

Arrest

Arrest: Meaning ‘to stop’ or ‘to detain in relation to the law’. The word ‘arrest’ reached English in the late 1400s, coming from the French (as legal words often do) word ‘arester’ which meant the same thing. It’s original root, is the Latin word ‘arrestare’ with the ‘ar’ part meaning ‘to’ and the ‘restare’ part…

Pornography – Prostitutes’ writings

Pornography; printed or visual material containing the sexual content. Pornography, it’s a controversial subject, but where does it come from? Well, the word anyway. Pornography is word which can be traced back to 1843 in the English language, where it referred, specifically to ‘sexually obscene paintings’, it came from the Greek word ‘pornographos’, which combined…

Person – Mask or character

Person: A human The word person came to the English language from the French word ‘persone’. This was a derivation of the word ‘persona’ from late Latin, and which had two meanings really, it meant ‘a human’ but also meant ‘a character’ and in fact, in earlier Latin, the word meant ‘mask’ or ‘part in…

Quack – Noisy duck doctors

Quack – As slang for poor medical practitioners or those claiming to be medical practitioners who are not. The term comes from an old Dutch word ‘quacksalver’ meaning ‘someone who boasts by virtue of his salves’ (salves being ointments for the skin). The ‘Quack’ part is a reference to the same quack we use today…

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.

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…