Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday WOLF

I'm a nerd. I'm in fact such a big nerd that I tend to look up word origins in my spare time because I'm fascinated by our language. The odder the origin, the better. 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.

In any case, I thought I'd share some of this random crap with you in the form of the new acronym-ific series. I give you - Word Origins from Left Field - that's right, the WOLF. Er... ignore the fact that the "from" doesn't fit.

Today we're going to talk about horses. I learned a lot about horses as I worked on IN A HANDFUL OF DUST. I've not been in many saddles, but I'm told I "sit a horse well," which makes me feel accomplished.

So you've probably heard the phrase "form the horse's mouth," meant to indicate that the information being shared is definitely true. This saying came about because a horse's age can be accurately judged by looking at its teeth. If you were buying a horse you'd go straight to the horse's mouth to determine it's age, rather than rely on the honesty of the seller.

Now you know! However, I do not advise this approach on humans. It is both misleading and socially unacceptable.

4 comments:

Yvonne Osborne said...

And therein the saying, "You don't look a gift horse in the mouth." You're fascinated by words because you're a writer!

Simon Stone said...

Agree. Etymology is fascinating.

Fascinate. From French (1590s) fasciner. from Latin (14c) fascinatus. From ancient Thrace, phaskein. Meaning to bewitch, enchant.

Lynn(e) said...

I don't judge, I'm a huge nerd too. I think it comes with the territory of being a writer.

Mindy McGinnis said...

Yvonne - absolutely! Even though I'd continue to use words and phrases if i didn't know the origin, having the knowledge lends depth to my usage.

Simon - etymology fascinates me, though I've been focusing on idioms here. The stories behind idioms are so interesting in themselves.

Lynn(e) - Luckily, nerd is the new cool, so we're good :)