etc

There are a large portion of words that make sense.
Undergarments: articles of clothing that you wear under your garments.
Tablecloth: a cloth that you put on top of a table.
These words just make sense.
However, I would say that the greater portion of words don’t make sense.

My friend and I recently had a thoughtful conversation about the meaning of words. Now you may be thinking that the meaning of words could elicit a philosophical discussion to rival Socrates, Aristotle, and Confucius (*sarcasm).

However, this conversation basically consisted of us repeating the word “shoe” over and over again, saying, “the more you say it, the weirder it sounds! Shoe, shoe, shoe, shoe, shoe!” We discussed the thought process behind the term “shoe.”

The way we imagined it was as follows: “I don’t like walking outside, it hurts my feet. If only there was something I could make to protect my feet… I WILL CRAFT THEM AND I WILL CALL THEM SHOES.”

I highly doubt it was anything like that, but whatever.

The next word we covered was the imponderable et cetera. You may recognize its shorthand, “etc. The word et cetera is of Greek origin, meaning “and other things,” or “and so on.” That makes sense, because that’s exactly how et cetera is used. But I just wonder why that particular combination of letters to describe “there are more items on this list, but I don’t want to write them all.”

I’m sure there’s a logical reason, but sometimes speculating is more fun.

I imagine someone just sitting at their desk in ancient Greece, writing a letter. He probably has an incredible jaw line, an impressive beard rivaling that of Grizzly Adams, and is most likely donning a fashionable toga. Let’s call him Leonidas (because why not?). His letter would sound something like this… hypothetically:

“Dearest Isidora,

I hope this letter finds you well. I wanted to share with you a story I recently read. It’s called The Odyssey. It was written by Homer, the guy who wrote The Iliad. There are a lot of cool gods and goddesses that make appearances in this story. It talks about Athena, Zeus, Poseidon..”

Leonidas has a thought.

He doesn’t want to list the rest of them. What could he write to indicate that there are additional deities mentioned in The Odyssey? He decides that he will just put “etc.” at the end, short for et cetera. He took the liberty of creating this word, because there should be a word that means, “there’s more, but I don’t really feel like listing the rest.”

Now Leonidas has this letter:

“Dearest Isidora,

I hope this letter finds you well. I wanted to share with you a story I recently read. It’s called The Odyssey. It was written by Homer, the guy who wrote The Iliad. There are a lot of cool gods and goddesses that make appearances in this story. It talks about Athena, Zeus, Poseidon, etc. I really suggest you give it a read! Until next time,

-Leonidas”

[Disclaimer: This post has little to no historical validity. I did not do well in my World Empires class. Also, Grizzly Adams was not an ancient Greek.]


 

I was thinking that if you guys have any words that you find exceptionally weird, you could write your own account of how you believe the word came to be. If you choose to do so, tag this post – I want to read them! Thanks for checking out this post! 

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Comments
  1. Thor says:

    The word “weird” was also a discussion that should be included because “weird” is one of the…well weirrdest words. Someone actually created a word to describe things that he/she found imponderable which makes the word itself imponderable if you ask me

    • Mikaela says:

      Who is this elusive, weird commenter named Thor? Hahaha. Weird is a weird word, but it’s so vital to my existence. How can I so appreciate a word that I don’t even fully understand? #Imponderables #ThorTheology

  2. Thor says:

    The god of thunder occasionally stumbled upon these so called “blogs” of a lowly mortal. And time time I find myself intrigued by these ridiculous “posts” as I’ve come to learn they are named. You seem to have your whits about you regardless of how utterly ludicrous your tales are. My brother Loki would enjoy these tales as well.

    • Mikaela says:

      Do they not have blogs in Asgard? Does thy mother know thou weareth her drapes?! Perhaps I should include Norse mythology next time, as to include Loki, god of lies and mischief, and yourself. GODSPEED, THOR. >:)

  3. Thor says:

    I like this tale! ANOTHER!

    • Auntie Doris says:

      I heard the word “plenipotentiary” on the wireless the other day… It’s a wonderful word, rolls off the tongue and a good rhyme for words like “century” and maybe “elementary”.
      “Elementary, my dear Watson” Something that it is composed of simple elements.

      I always had a soft spot for Grizzly Adams. It must be awful to be wanted for a crime you didn’t commit. Like the A Team, or Lord Lucan.

      • Mikaela says:

        I have never heard “plenipotentiary,” but it is a pretty exciting word. I also love the Sherlock Holmes reference – having a word to rhyme with that phrase might come in handy!
        And I’m glad someone else knew who Grizzly Adams was!

        Thanks for reading!

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