Words, Words, Words (3)

More words:

Glum: Merriam-Webster says the word means broodingly morose. The word derives from Middle English gloumen, to become dark. Obviously related to the expression “in the gloaming,” meaning the time of day when it is becoming dark but is not yet fully dark.

Thrum: According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word is a verb meaning to play a stringed instrument. It’s first observed appearance was in the 1590s. It’s of imitative origin.

Shellac: Sometimes spelled “shellack,” the word as a verb has two distinct meanings: to coat or otherwise treat with shellac or a shellac varnish, and to defeat decisively. As a noun it means a resin secreted by the female lac bug on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. It translates French laque en écailles, “lac in thin plates.” “Lac” is a resinous substance secreted by an insect called a lac.

Mettle: According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word originated in the 1580s. It’s a variant spelling of “metal.” Both forms of the word were used interchangeably by Shakespeare and others in the literal sense and in the figurative one of “stuff of which a person is made, (a person’s) physical or moral constitution” (1550s), hence “natural temperament,” specifically “ardent masculine temperament, spirit, courage” (1590s). The word “metal,” from which “mettle” is derived, is ultimately (after transition through Latin and French) from Greek metallon, “metal, ore.”

Nerd: The Online Etymology Dictionary says that the word first appeared in 1951 as U.S. student slang, probably an alteration of 1940s slang nert meaning “stupid or crazy person,” itself an alteration of nut.

Crony: Merriam-Webster says that the word means an intimate companion of longstanding, a chum. It originated in the 1660s as a variation of chrony, Cambridge student slang, probably from Greek khronios “long-lasting,” from khronos, “time.”

More the next time words overwhelm me.

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