Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Word of the Day I

So, in my line of work, I come across old, unused, underused and simply bizzare words in the English language.

Some of this is due to reading documents from as far back as the late 1800's, some of it is translation oddness, and some of it is people trying to prove their vocabulary.

If this is found amusing, I will continue to post more "Words of the Day"

Today's is "Squab"

This is a chair cushion that is usually removable or otherwise non-permanent (in current usage).

According to Etymology Online:
1680s, "very young bird," earlier (1630s) "unformed, lumpish person" and used at various times for any sort of flabby mass, such as sofa cushions; probably from a Scandinavian word (compare dialectal Swedish skvabb "loose or fat flesh," skvabba "fat woman"), from Proto-Germanic *(s)kwab-. Klein lists cognates in Old Prussian gawabo "toad," Old Church Slavonic zaba "frog."

I'm not even surprised anymore that it is derived from a word that means  'fat woman,' or 'fat' more generally.

Oh English, and your hidden ways of insult.

No comments:

Post a Comment