I saw the word predicament recently, and thought that it would be an interesting case for a little bit of etymology figuring-out. It looks so Latin, with such clearly separate sections, each of which could have its own meaning, and which could all be added up to clearly show the meaning of the word as whole. Continue reading
If you want peace, prepare for war.
An ancient, but enduring adage, first found in the 5th century De re militari (Concerning Military Matters) by the Latin writer Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus.
I used this expression recently, and wondered where it comes from. Is it related to boots, the footwear? If not, is it related to any other words?
It’s not actually related to the boots that one wears at all, but still has an interesting story to tell. Continue reading
I was thinking about the word concert recently. A very common word, but it struck me that, like so many others, we use it in different ways without really noticing. Continue reading
Yesterday I shared with you my new favourite word: neck-verse. The first time I typed it, it sounded like an informal term for a group of films all tied together by featuring characters related to a superhero called The Neck.
And sadly, while such a series of films doesn’t (yet) exist, it made me think of the newly-obvious similarity between the words verse and universe. Could there be a link? Continue reading
At the cinema last night, the standard message about the film’s age rating came up, stating that the film was rated suitable for exhibition etc. Fine. At that point though, the couple behind me began to discuss the word exhibition, and its pronunciation. Continue reading