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Interesting Facts About 6 Common Words’ Origins

Interesting Facts About 6 Common Words’ Origins

Ever stopped for a moment and wondered how the common words you use in your daily life came into being? Probably you have been too busy to ponder upon that mystery and did not use numerology to find your strengths. Well, as a matter of fact, some of the words we use numerous times on a daily basis have really interesting origins that are worth looking into. So, read on and increase your knowledge of the unknown facts:-


Nightmares are the bad dreams we encounter during night, so the name rather makes some sense. But what has mare to do with it? According to Old English, the word mare refers to a demonic entity that suffocates or chokes people while they are sleeping. Because the feeling of nightmare is usually associated to that of being suffocated in sleep, the word nightmare came into being as a result.


The origin of Algebra goes back to 825 AD, and is traced to a book written by Abu Abdallah Muḥammad ibn Musa alKhwarizmi – also known as the “father” of Algebra – titled “Kitab al-jabr wa al-muqabalah”. The translation of the title comes out to be “Rules of Reintegration and Reduction”, and the branch dealt with the mathematics and algebra that we study today. Gaining popularity, the work eventually spread to Europe, where it was formulated into the first textbook of Algebra.  The title of the book was “al-jabr”, meaning “reunion of broken parts”, which translates to “algebrae” in Latin and later came to be known as “algebra”.


The word Slave originated when Slavonia – an area in Europe – was taken over by Rome, and its citizens were made to work under the Romans. Because of their area of origin, these people eventually came to be known as “Slavs”. As time passed, the word “Slavs” became “slaves”, and was used to refer to people who would work for others without any pay.


The word Geek came into being around 1916, during which time it was used to refer to sideshow freaks spotted in circuses, or those who used to perform unusual stunts such as eating live insects or small animals during performance. Such performances were commonly known as geek shows. The actual word geek is derived from the German word geck, which represents someone who is a fool or a freak.


This utterly common word dates back to at least 1000 years, and is believed to have been derived from the Anglo-Saxon word Erda, and its German counterpart Erde, which translates to ground or soil. With the advent of time, the Old English adapted the word as Ertha, which eventually came to be known as Earth that we know of today.


The English term alcohol was formulated around 1543 and is derived from the Arabic word al-kuhl, which can be broken down into two parts. The first part al translates to “the” in English, while kuhl is another word for kohl that refers to a powder applied as eyeliner by women in Arab. The term al-kuhl was used by Arab chemists in medieval times to refer to any substance or essence that was obtained through the process of distillation.

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