Resolutions and Etymology



Dictionary.Reference.com lists 12 meanings for the word resolution. At this time of year the most common use is the second meaning, "a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something".  Because this is sometimes a blog about sewing, the fifth description was also of interest, "the act or process of resolving or separating into constituent or elementary parts". 

I think the best resolutions are the resolve to do something positive. First, I resolve to return unused supplies to the store. This one resolution really applies mostly to knitted projects and forces me to work on a project immediately so that I know as soon as possible when I have an extra ball or skein of yarn. I just tuck the receipt into the band around the yarn to keep it accessible when needed. Besides saving money it becomes a clutter buster by preventing stash build up.

My second resolution for the year is to look up the word meaning and or word origin for at least one word everyday. I have not decided if I will share a word a day here though because that might just drive away readers. I suppose that might depend on word choices. It could add a new group of readers too. In English, we invent new words to describe things making the language vibrant and adaptable, but there are rules. With texting* and tweets a division, nearly a rift, is forming between the formal language and the abbreviated, phonetic and acronym** shortcuts.   

From Online Etymology Dictionary, (http://www.etymonline.com) for your informed pleasure, here are two words derived from Old English for today:  

The Verb Sew and the Noun Stitch

sew (v.) Look up sew at Dictionary.com
O.E. siwian "to stitch," earlier siowian, from P.Gmc. *siwjanan (cf. O.N. syja, Swedish sy, O.H.G. siuwan, Goth. siujan "to sew"), from PIE root *syu- "to bind, sew" (cf. Skt. sivyati "sews,"sutram "thread, string;" Gk. hymen "thin skin, membrane," hymnos "song;" L. suere "to sew, sew together;" O.C.S. sijo "to sew," sivu "seam;" Lettish siuviusiuti "to sew," siuvikis "tailor;" Russian svec "tailor"). Related: SewedsewingSewing machine is attested from 1847.

stitch (n.) Look up stitch at Dictionary.com
O.E. stice "a prick, puncture," from P.Gmc. *stikiz, from the root of stick (v.). The sense of "sudden, stabbing pain in the side" was in late O.E. The verb is first recorded early 13c., "to stab, pierce," also "to fasten or adorn with stitches." Noun senses in sewing and shoemaking first recorded late 13c.; meaning "bit of clothing one is (or isn't) wearing" is from c.1500. Meaning "a stroke of work" (of any kind) is attested from 1580s. Surgical sense first recorded 1520s. Sense of "amusing person or thing" is 1968, from notion of laughing so much one gets stitches of pain (cf. verbal expression to have (someone) in stitches, 1935).

Footnotes: also from Online Etymology Dictionary


text (v.) Look up text at Dictionary.com
"to send a text message by mobile system," 2005; see text (n.). Related: Textedtexting. It formerly was a verb meaning "to write in text letters" (1590s).


acronym (n.) Look up acronym at Dictionary.com
word formed from the first letters of a series of words, 1943, American English coinage from acro- + -onym "name" (abstracted from homonym; see name (n.)). But for cabalistic esoterica and acrostic poetry, the practice was practically non-existent before 20c. (see here).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by.