Meddle stems from the Latin word ‘miscere’ meaning ‘to mix’. So a meddler or someone who meddles could mean they like to stir up trouble or ‘get into the mix’. It can also be bad or good. When Scooby Doo and his friends ‘meddled’ and unmasked the ghost it was deemed to be a positive but when things go awry the meddler becomes the villain. If you are trying to learn English as a second language you’d be forgiven for thinking the meddler gives out or manufactures the awards after the events for athletics meetings but that wouldn’t be of too much concern if you were still dealing with what having the right to write the right thing on the right hand side of the page right to the bottom means or if you were trying to reign your horse in the rain while trying to recite a rane you heard. You would never know if what you ‘read’ or have ‘read’ makes any sense or if red wine is the white wine to choose .
The word ‘exclusive’ is an interesting one as on the surface if something is described as ‘exclusive’ that’s a good thing, right? Exclusive comes from the word ‘exclude’. If you were booking a holiday and the resort or hotel advertised that they excluded certain groups of people to make your stay more comfortable how would you feel about it then?
Would you have signed up to buy your house so quickly if the bank had called your loan a ‘death pledge’? Mort is French for death and gage is French for pledge.
The word ‘ nice’ – derived from Latin nescius meaning ‘ignorant’ – began life in the fourteenth century as a term for ‘foolish’ or ‘silly’. From there it embraced many a negative qualities including wantonness, extravagance, and ostentation, as well as cowardice and sloth so ‘ignorance is bliss’.
Lunatic is obviously derived from ‘Luna’, which is Latin for moon as people believed that lunar cycles played a role in insanity and could also explain the origins of the mythical werewolf.
The list goes on but I always think it is such a shame that for a lot of us all that language is, is a way to communicate with each other. I find it so fascinating how words grow and mutate and even take on entirely new forms and new meanings. I love how they traverse across different languages, I love discovering new words and finding ways to utilise them and I guess that’s why I love reading, writing, singing, rapping, poetry, slang…etc
Who needs actions when you’ve got words?