Today I randomly looked up the word SOCKET. It didn’t seem like a particularly fascinating word, probably not a word I’ve ever used. Like I say, random. I had been thinking that I needed to know the words I use better—their exact meanings, their origins.
Looking in my etymological dictionary was like walking into a dull cave that turned out to be lined with persian carpets & blacklights. Or something. I wandered around looking up more & more spinoffs & ended up feeling like SOCKET is the most interesting word in the world.
Here's a quick tour. It's from middle French, around 700 years ago, means a spearhead, a weapon shaped like a plowshare (which—I didn’t know this—is the blade of a plow) + the -et suffix meaning small. Same word in old Irish soc = plowshare & hog’s snout. (There’s more!)
So much more entertaining than going down those facebook rabbitholes of “worst customer” & “odd crime.”
One thing I like is how long so many of our words have been around. I remember trying to make my way through Anglo Saxon & there were “moder und fader” and “hus und hom” (my spellings might be off) & it pleased me no end that a thousand years ago people were saying you rotten kids you’re eating me out of house & home.