Find the origins of words with this Cloudeight site pick

By | October 2, 2011
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I love words. You probably think I love them too much. Oh well. You probably think I don’t use them correctly, right? Oh well. I try my best. All you can do is do your best and if it is not good enough then try harder. OK. I will.

But for now, be sated with the knowledge that I’m about to bestow upon you – the knowledge that every word has an origin. Even Cloudeight. Cloudeight was first used in 1998 by us as we attempted to be clever and combine our nicknames, Thundercloud and Eightball. into Cloudeight (which originally was spelled CloudEight until EB put the kibosh on that spelling).

Take one of the most overused words in the English language, for example – the word “love”. Are you chomping at the bit to learn where that word came from? Wonder no more. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary the word love (the noun, not the verb) is from the Old English word “lufu”. You’ll notice no “v” sounds in LUFU. Don’t you wonder why? Well, back when they spoke Old English, false teeth were not very good. They were made from wood or tree bark soaked overnight in Clorox. Most of you know what happens to wood when it gets wet (as from saliva): it swells. Can you imagine having a mouth full of swollen teeth and having to say “I love you” – with a V sound? Try it. Take twenty or thirty dried beans and put them in your mouth. Now try to say “love”. It sounded like lufu, didn’t it? See? You can learn more than Windows from this newsletter!

Anyway… the Online Etymology Dictionary digs into the root of love this way:

“love (n.)
O.E. lufu “love, affection, friendliness,” from P.Gmc. *lubo (cf. O.Fris. liaf, Ger. lieb, Goth. liufs “dear, beloved;” not found elsewhere as a noun, except O.H.G. luba, Ger. Liebe), from PIE *leubh- “to care, desire, love” (cf. L. lubet, later libet “pleases;” Skt. lubhyati “desires;” O.C.S. l’ubu “dear, beloved;” Lith. liaupse “song of praise”). Meaning “a beloved person” is from early 13c. The sense “no score” (in tennis, etc.) is 1742, from the notion of “playing for love,” i.e. “for nothing” (1670s). Love-letter is attested from mid-13c.; love-song from early 14c. To be in love with (someone) is from c.1500. Love life “one’s collective amorous activities” is from 1919, originally a term in psychological jargon. Love affair is from 1590s. Phrase for love or money “for anything” is attested from 1580s. To fall in love is attested from early 15c. The phrase no love lost (between two people) is ambiguous and was used 17c. in ref. to two who love each other well (c.1640) as well as two who have no love for each other (1620s).”

So are you in lufu with InfoAve Premium – or is there no lufu lost? You can now remove the dried beans from your mouth. Now repeat after me: I LOVE INFOAVE PREMIUM. See? With your mouth free of dried beans (or swollen teeth) you can say “love” perfectly well. And all you need is love right? Can you imagine a song called “All You Need is Lufu”?

Enough! You’re getting frustrated now. I can feel it.I can feel it, Dave. I’m losing my mind, Dave. Please don’t do that, Dave. You’re losing your lufu for this article, right? We’ll call the developer in to give you a little information

“This is a map of the wheel-ruts of modern English. Etymologies are not definitions; they’re explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago.
The dates beside a word indicate the earliest year for which there is a surviving written record of that word (in English, unless otherwise indicated). This should be taken as approximate, especially before about 1700, since a word may have been used in conversation for hundreds of years before it turns up in a manuscript that has had the good fortune to survive the centuries.

The basic sources of this work are Weekley’s “An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English,” Klein’s “A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language,” “Oxford English Dictionary” (second edition), “Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology,” Holthausen’s “Etymologisches Wörterbuch der Englischen Sprache,” and Kipfer and Chapman’s “Dictionary of American Slang…

Since this dictionary went up, it has benefited from the suggestions of dozens of people I have never met, from around the world. Tremendous thanks and appreciation to all of you.”

If you’re thirst for knowledge never wanes and is never fully sated, then you’ll find our site pick “Online Etymology Dictionary” a worthy one. If you don’t thirst for knowledge, then go open a bottle of beer, turn on “Dancing with the Stars” and have a few Doritos. Two hundred years from now, it won’t make one bit of difference 🙂

So go expand your knowledge and root around on our site pick to find out where your favorite words came from. Don’t you just lufu this?

3 thoughts on “Find the origins of words with this Cloudeight site pick

  1. shari carter

    Mr. Harding is right. And boy, is this a nifty site! I might be at it all day, since words are my life.


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