Word Origin Stories

The story of humankind and its progression through the ages is a fascinating one; and language, one of humankind’s ‘bosom friends’, has been a constant witness to the unfolding of this tale – in fact, not merely has it witnessed the story, but it has played a key role in it – heavily influencing and being influenced by (wo)men and their musings, of different ages and times.

I have for long been fascinated by how our words originated in palaces and farms, armed camps and dark alleys; by the old gossip of hidden relationships that I had often suspected but had never known.

Word Origin Stories, is a series of posts, in which I follow the words into the by-lanes of our past to witness how our ancestors learnt to draw a living from the land, built their first homes and villages, organized industry and trade and experimented with science and self-governance. Along the way, I hope to learn as much about their manners and morals, their beliefs and temples, their poetry and philosophies, as their wars and sacrifices and their achievements and absurdities! 

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