Hypocrite: False pretender to virtue of religion

Hypocrite: Is a word that’s been in English since the 16th century CE and comes from old French (around 1200 CE) when its meaning was ‘False pretender to virtue of religion’. It has its basis in the Greek word ‘hypokrinestai’, which was ‘To play a part’. ‘Hypokrinestai’ came from two Proto-Indo-European words; ‘Hypo’ still used…

Lagoon – pond-like Venice

The word ‘lagoon’; highlights an interesting habit of the English language; when borrowing words from French, we loved to add emphasis and our own special touch – in this case (and many with many other words borrowed from French), it’s replacing a perfectly good word ending with ‘oon’. The word borrowed here was ‘lagune’ which…

Devil incarnate – Devil made flesh

Phrase; ‘Devil incarnate’, it’s a saying that most of us have heard but what on earth does it mean to be ‘incarnate’? The definition is ‘to be in human form’ which stacks up, but where did the phrase come from? Like a whole host of sayings we have today, it’s a phrase which was created…

Fun – To cheat or trick

Fun – Amusement ‘Fun’, in its current meaning can be dated back to 1727, before that ‘fun’ meant ‘a cheat’ or ‘a trick’ and is a varint of the word ‘befool’.

Sex: First coined by DH Lawrence as sexual intercourse

Sex: Comes from the Latin word ‘Sexus’ and has its root before that in Seco (period unknown) which meant ‘To divide in half’, consider also ‘secateurs’ and ‘section’. In Latin it was applied specifically to the division of the human race by gender. It wasn’t used to mean intercourse until as recently as 1929 when D.H.…

Ambivalence: German meaning ‘both strong’, Read more:

Ambivalence – We have the Swiss psychologist Eugen Bleule to thank for the word ambivalence. The word is a translation of the German word ‘Ambivalenz’, introduced by Bleule in 1910. He was combining two Latin words; ‘Ambi’ meaning ‘both’ and ‘valentia’ which meant ‘To be strong’. ‘Ambi’ comes from the Proto-Indo-European word ‘ambhi’ meaning all around. And ‘valentia’…