Tomb

I was working on a book and wrote the word “tombstone.” Then I started to wonder why “tomb” rhymes with “gloom” and doesn’t sound like “Tom.” According to Wiktionary, “tomb” was borrowed from Old French into Middle English, and since I understand neither Middle English spelling nor pronunciation, I don’t know why the o, butContinue reading “Tomb”

The Penny, the Dollar, and the Pound

I’m having some book covers created by David Collins of DC Cover Creations, and I pay in British pounds. I started thinking about the names of various currencies, and what they mean. The penny. Well, pennies are old, and I don’t mean just sort of old. The word has a Proto-Germanic origin and there areContinue reading “The Penny, the Dollar, and the Pound”

Lousy

It’s interesting how the meaning of words changes over time, but even more so that we don’t often think about the words we use, and where they come from. A remarkably good (or bad) example of this is the word “lousy.” The dictionary definition, or at least the first one, is “remarkably bad,” “poor quality,”Continue reading “Lousy”