2008 at 9am Posted by Rebecca Joines Schinsky
Whew! Yesterday was a little crazy (scroll down if you don’t know what I’m referring to), so let’s return to the Phraseology fun for something a little lighter.
Kama Sutra (1883) comes from Sanskrit and is an ancient treatise on love and sexual performance. Incidentallly, it is also teenage shoppers’ favorite book to look through when their parents send them to the bookstore unattended. I cannot tell you how many gaggles of giggling teenage girls I’ve watched try to figure out the illustrations or how many teenage couples I’ve found nearly groping each other in the sexuality section. I’ve found that stopping to ask, “Do you need help with anything?” tends to embarass them and elicits more appropriate behavior. I’m all for asking questions and satisfying curiosities, but don’t do it in public, please.
That said, if you’re brushing up on sexual prowess, you might want to do some Kegel exercises for the pelvic floor muscles. They were named for Dr. Arnold Kegel, who advocated such exercise in the late 1940s.
Kemo sabe was not from a Native American language but was created by the Lone Ranger’s inventor to mean “faithful friend.”
My husband loves to collect tchotchkes (and he loves to say the word “tchotchke”), but you can also call them knick-knacks (or knickknacks), which dates to 1580 and is a reduplication of knack, “strategem, trick.” I’m not sure how it came to mean “small collectible items,” but whatever. If Phraseology has taught me anything, it’s that the phrases we use have traveled strange paths to get to us.
Kick the bucket originates from slaughterhouses, where hogs were slashed and hung by a pulley with a weight called a bucket. If you don’t want to kick the bucket, you should knock on wood, which refers to guardian spirits thought to live in trees and who are summoned by knocking.
Kiss of death is probably of Biblical origin, referring to Judas Iscariot’s kiss of Jesus, which facilitated his arrest; kiss of life was a name used in the 1960s for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Now that I’ve filled my knowledge box (a humorous name for the head) with all of this random information, I’m feeling ready to tackle the rest of the day.