A Blog for Lovers of Words

Adam Jacot de Boinod runs the blog The Wonder of Whiffling (also the name of a book he’s written) that lists interesting, little known, and sometimes humorous words, often with their origins or historical context.  Adam shared a few examples in a recent comment on this blog, showing the original meanings of commonly used words.

Grape – originally a hook for gathering fruit and later a cluster of fruit growing together.

Friend – a lover, later a relative or kinsman

Sky – meaning a cloud

Frantic – insane

Corset – a little body

Mortgage – a death pledge

In Tudor times, drink actually meant to smoke tobacco; walk – to roll, toss, move about, and later to press cloth; and steward – a keeper of the pigs and later, as wealth expanded, of herds of cattle and land.


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