Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wednesday wordage etymology edition

I do so like etymology.  It's the paleontology of words, and it lets us study another beautiful, messy way that evolution works.  And, like fossickers living in central Oregon, those of us who live in the English language are surrounded by lovely, eccentric fossils. 

So--what's the shared link in the heritage of the following words?
a) pundit
b) juggernaut
c) pajamas
d) shampoo

Highlight for the answer:  All entered the English language from India.  "Pandit" is master, and was rightly used to describe the amazing Ravi Shankar.  "Jagannath" is a Hindu deity, honored by religious processions with massive floats that earned notoriety for crushing the occasional devout follower.  PJ's are PJ's, and though the word has Persian roots, it arrived here by way of the Raj.  Shampoo is from a Hindi word, originally meaning something like "to beat or pound" but evolved into a word for cleaning. 
Feel free to add any related in the comments. 

No comments:

Post a Comment