Word Nerd Part 1

I really find the subject of this week’s Dustinland interesting, so I think one day I’ll do another one. But we’ll see. Maybe you all will hate it. The whole etymology thing can be pretty nerdy but it’s also kinda cool. I have a whole list of stuff I researched online so hopefully I can dig into it a little further. I actually think it could be a pretty cool book, to tell you the truth. So yeah, if you want to pay me to do a book of cartoons about English word origins, just let me know. I’ll be all over that.

Oh, and the thing that gave me the idea for this comic was a book called Genghis Kahn and the Making of the Modern World. Pretty sweet book. Man, the Mongols have really gotten the shaft over the last 700 years or so. Check out the book and not only will you learn interesting things like “assassin” comes from “Hashishin” and “mogul” comes from “Mongol,” but you’ll find out that a poor-ass hunter dude wound up creating an enormous empire that helped spread ideas and technology all over the world.

This is the nerdiest post ever but hey, deal with it.


5 responses to “Word Nerd Part 1

  1. Have you ever read “Cartoon History of the Universe” by Larry Gonick?

    Lots of revealing history IN CARTOON FORM. Seven volumes. Highly recommended. It scores a perfect 10 on the nerd-o-meter. It’s so popular you could probably find it at your local library.

    Volume 3 had “Hashishin” and the rise of the Mongol empire. Hint: Don’t steal from a Mongol trading party or you will get an “earful”

  2. I’m a word nerd too. More etymology!

  3. The oddest etymology I’ve ever heard (I’m not vouching for its accuracy):

    MAL in old Norwegian = “speech.” The Vikings weren’t a gabby bunch–when they spoke it was mostly to demand something. As they extorted tribute throughout Europe’s coasts, their victims came to call the demands “black mal.” Eventually this became “blackmail.”

  4. Hey, look what I just accidentally bumped into while going about my daily routine online:

    Pundit is a loan word borrowed in English during the British Raj from the Hindi language and is of Sanskrit origin. The term originates from the Hindi term pandit, which in turn originates from the Sanskrit (a language from ancient India) term paṇḍitá, meaning “learned” (see also Pandit). It refers to someone who is erudite in various subjects and who conducts religious ceremonies and offers counsel to the king.

    From at least the early 19th century, a Pundit of the Supreme Court in Colonial India was an officer of the judiciary who advised British judges on questions of Hindu law. In Anglo-Indian use, pundit also referred to a native of India who was trained and employed by the British to survey inaccessible regions beyond the British frontier.

  5. ABSOLUTELY! etymology has been a favorite science of mine ever since I learned what it meant . . . GO for it! The book, that is . . .you KNOW I’ll contribute a penny or two! Nana

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