The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language

By Mark Forsyth

Have you learnt why…

…a loan is actually a loss of life pledge? …why weapons have ladies’ names? …why salt is said to soldier?

You’re approximately to determine…

The Etymologicon (e-t?-‘mä-lä-ji-kän) is:
*Witty (wi-te\): filled with smart humor

*Erudite (er-?-dit): displaying knowledge

*Ribald (ri-b?ld): Crude, offensive

The Etymologicon is a totally unauthorized consultant to the unusual underpinnings of the English language. It explains: the way you get from “gruntled” to “disgruntled”; why you're completely correct to think that your meager wage slightly covers “money for salt”; how the most important chain of espresso outlets on the earth (hint: Seattle) connects to whaling in Nantucket; and what exactly the Rolling Stones need to do with gardening.

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The exception is what places a rule to the attempt. That try out might damage it, or the rule of thumb can be established and continue to exist, yet both method the speculation has been proved. equally, while a brand new weapon is taken to the proving floor, it’s not only to ensure that it exists. The proving flooring is a spot the place a weapon could be demonstrated to ensure that it’s as lethal as have been was hoping. All of which may still clarify why the try out of an outstanding dessert and the evidence of a pudding is within the consuming. It’s the previous experience of end up. brain you, you possibly wouldn’t have desired to turn out previous puddings. A pudding was once, initially, the entrails of an animal full of its personal meat and grease, boiled and glued in a cabinet for later. one of many earliest recorded makes use of of the observe is in a medieval recipe from 1450 for Porpoise Pudding: Puddyng of Porpoise. Take the Blode of hym, & the grece of hym self, & Oatmeal, & Salt, & Pepir, & Gyngere, & melle [mix] those togetherys wel, & then positioned this within the intestine of the Porpoise, & then lat it seethe [boil] esyli, & now not not easy, a superb whereas; & then take hym up, & broyle hym a lytil, & then serve forth. The evidence of porpoise pudding will surely be within the consuming. A pudding used to be successfully only a very unusual (and almost certainly toxic) form of sausage. Now, prior to the following hyperlink within the chain, are you able to take a bet as to why glamorous humans positioned sausage poison of their faces? Sausage Poison on your Face The Latin note for sausage used to be botulus, from which English will get phrases. one among them is the stunning botuliform, this means that sausage-shaped and is a extra helpful notice than you may imagine. the opposite notice is botulism. Sausages might flavor stunning, yet it’s often top to not ask what’s really in them. interest can have killed the cat, however it used to be a sausage-maker who disposed of the physique. In nineteenth-century the USA, the idea that sausages have been frequently made from puppy meat was once so frequent that they began to be known as hotdogs, a be aware that survives to this present day. Sausages are filled with beef and peril. They don’t frequently kill you, yet they could. there has been an early nineteenth-century German known as Justinus Kerner, who while no longer writing really dreary Swabian poetry labored as a physician. His poetry is now fairly justifiably forgotten, yet his scientific paintings lives on. Kerner pointed out a brand new sickness that killed a few of his sufferers. It was once a terrible illness that slowly paralysed every little thing of the physique till the victim’s middle stopped and he died. Kerner realised that each one his useless sufferers have been consuming affordable meat in sausages, so he determined to name the sickness botulism, or sausage ailment. He additionally thoroughly deduced that undesirable sausages needs to include a poison of a few variety, which he referred to as botulinum toxin. In 1895 there has been a funeral in Belgium. Ham used to be served to the site visitors on the wake and 3 of them dropped down lifeless. This should have overjoyed the undertakers, however it additionally intended that the rest meat should be rushed to the collage of Ghent. The Professor of micro organism studied the homicidal ham below a microscope and eventually pointed out the wrongdoer, little micro organism that have been, competently, formed like sausages and at the moment are known as Clostridium botulinum.

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