I am fascinated by the origins of words and phrases and also quirky facts about our world. Today I thought I’d share some of my finds with you. I’ll bet you can’t wait. Here goes.
EVOO – Okay, that’s not exactly a word or phrase, but it’s an acronym put into the Oxford American College Dictionary in 2006 because of its frequent us by Food Network star, Rachel Ray. It stands for extra virgin olive oil. Yeah, no, don’t say E-voo like some arrogant cow trying to impress you with her foreign accent. You say each letter so it kind of sounds like one word. Just listen to Rachel.
Nerd – This word was coined by Dr. Seuss when he gave the name to one of his oddball creatures way back in the day. They were all that way, with their unruly tufts of hair everywhere, don’t you think? Perhaps I’ll start making up a word here or there and see how many stick. My first attempt? Blurf. I’ll imagine what it means in a minute.
Enervated – Ha! This does NOT mean full of energy. It means drained of energy. Sure does sound like the opposite, though, right? Well, the next time you say it, drape your hand over your brow and hang onto the nearest chair or counter. Nothing like maximum drama to illustrate a word's true meaning. “I am enervated beyond belief by this pile of laundry.” Ask the arrogant cow if you might borrow her accent, too. As you glide to the floor you’ll impress everyone.
Jump on the bandwagon – In the late 18th and early 19th century horse drawn wagons, carrying a band (imagine that) were used by circuses, in parades and during political campaigns. And who wouldn’t love to be invited to “jump on” and join the fun? Every Tom Sawyer and Jane Finn out there, that’s who. Of course that meant you were all in for the clowns, drum majorettes, and the mayor. I once jumped on the “Spam for everyone!” bandwagon and have yet to live it down. Ugh.
Have a baby? Get a pet – This I read in a recent Reader’s Digest. Canadian researchers found that babies one to three months old living in homes with furry pets that carry high levels of (hang on while I type these loooong words) Oscillospira and /or Ruminococcus, gut microbes, have a lower risk of allergies and obesity. Hello, Fido! My father-in-law’s maxim of “You have to eat a pound of dirt before you die” kind of fits in with this study. In my mind anyway.
So, that’s probably enough continuing education for you right now. Go ahead and add to the list, though, if you’d like to and have time. I’m all ears.
Image: Free Digital Photos