Words. Words, Words (2)

Time for you to put up with once again my captivation with words.

Today with I start with boycott. It’s defined by Oxford Languages as meaning to withdraw from commercial or social relations with a country, organization, or person as a punishment or protest. Its source is Charles C. Boycott who died in 1897. He was an English land agent in County Mayo, Ireland, ostracized in 1880 for refusing to reduce rents.

Next, slog. According to Oxford Languages, the word means to work hard over a period of time; to hit forcefully and typically wildly, especially in boxing; or to walk like a dog. Merriam-Webster gives no etymology. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word, meaning “hit hard,” first appeared in 1824. It was originally pugilism slang, probably a variant of slug, “to strike.” The use meaning “work hard” appeared by 1846. The sense of “walk doggedly ” came in 1872.

Sloth: The word has two meanings, obviously related: a slow moving arboreal edentate mammal, and disinclination to labor or action—laziness. The word’s etymology is straightforward: from Middle English slouthe or slewthe (laziness).

Meh: An expression of apathy or indifference, in print by 2003, said to have been used in media from 1992. Its source is unknown; it might have had a Yiddish origin, or maybe someone just made the word up.

Brat: The word means either a child or an ill-behaved child. According to the Online Etymological Dictionary, it is derived from the 1500 word meaning “beggar’s child,” from a northern, Midlands, and western England dialect word for makeshift or ragged garment.

Shrift: The word is German, and it means writing. The English version is derived from Old English scrift, confession to priest, followed by penance and absolution. The only usage I’m familiar with in modern English is “short shrift,” which, according to Oxford English Languages, means rapid and unsympathetic dismissal, curt treatment.

Epitome: an abstract or brief statement of the chief points of some writing. The word is derived ultimately from the Greek epitome, from epitemnein—to cut short, abridge, ultimately from epi, into and temnein, an abridgment or brief summary.

More next time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: