I've got a collection of random information in my brain that makes me an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner, but is completely useless when it comes to real world application. Like say, job applications. I thought I'd share some of this random crap with you in the form of another acronym-ific series. I give you - Word Origins from Left Field - that's right, the WOLF (oh, how clever is she? She made an acronym out of her agency's name!) Er... ignore the fact that the "from" doesn't fit.
I know I'm probably not the only person out there watching Downton Abbey, and I'm probably also not the only one who wonders what the word dowager means whenever it comes up. It makes people sound rather grand, don't you think? Yes, I'm the Dowager Librarian, what were you looking for?
And, exactly because I am a librarian I went ahead and looked it up.
Dowager means a woman who holds the property and/or title of her deceased husband. The word comes from the Middle French douage, meaning a woman's marriage-portion.
It's not a huge hop, skip, or jump to see how the word dowry comes into play, then, is it?
And while it does indeed make one sound rather grand to use the word in reference to oneself, there's also the rather unfortunate (though, I assume, outdated) reference to dowager's hump, which is an outward curvature of the upper back due to osteoporosis.
I'll just take the money and title, please.