Tuesday, November 16, 2010


From my Library - Topic : Word Origin (Send your answers to sujash007@gmail.com
Q1.To understand this word, one has to go back to the days when movies were shown continuously in theaters and the audience was allowed to sit through multiple shows of the same movie – the start times were published, and if you came in late you simply sat through the next showing until you came to the point "where you came in". The coming attractions reel would be spliced onto the end of the last reel of the movie. What word is derived from the above-mentioned practice?
Q2. In merry old England, a godsib was a godparent of either sex, sib being the Anglo-Saxon word for kinsman. When godsibs were together, particularly female ones, no doubt a fair share of idle talk occurred, and the word soon lost its religious context and acquired the meaning of one with whom one chats intimately. 
Q3.It is derived from the Greek word ‘en theos’, implying that one who believes that a god is in him.
Q4. The word origin had nothing to do with the post office. Mail in this sense was an old Anglo-Norse term for rent or tribute. During the time of border warfare between England and Scotland, freebooters extorted payment from farmers of the area in exchange for protection and immunity from plunder. As the inhabitants were generally very poor, the tribute was paid in grain, meat, or the lowest coinage (copper), as opposed to ‘silver’. In time the word took on the meaning of any payment extorted by threat of exposure of an incriminating secret. 
Q5. The word comes from Islamic alchemist, Jabir ibn Hayyan, whose name was Latinized as "Geber“. He invented a strange terminology so that his works could not be understood by others; more importantly, he could not be accused of heresy, which was punishable by death. The second explanation is from the British colony Gibraltar (from Arabic Gabal-Tariq, meaning Mountain of Tariq), whose residents frequently speak in Spanish and English during their conversations. Gibraltarians will often start a sentence in Spanish and switch to English halfway through, making it difficult for non-locals to follow.


Nat said...

Fantastic Sujata... Loved the questions...
Should people post answers as comments??

Ashes said...

Hi Nat, Please send your answers to 'sujash007@gmail.com'.