Do you know from where these everyday words originate?

Do you know from where these everyday words originate?

Have you ever wondered where words like blog, meme or emoji come from?

Language is forever evolving with approximately 1000 new entries added to the Oxford Online Dictionaries every year.

These words seem to seep into our every day with little thought given to their origin or meaning.

Here are a couple you’ll recognize:

Blog

As I’m sure you’re all aware, the word “Blog” refers to a website that is updated regularly by a single person or group of people. The word originates from the words WEB + LOG. Remove the “WE” and viola. We have a new word.

Meme

A meme has come to mean an image or video, usually humorous, which is spread swiftly by internet users. The word “meme” originates from the word “memeology”. Memeology is the study of ideas and behaviors as they spread among people within their culture. The word “meme” first appeared in a book, The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins in 1976 and proposed that memes are living structures that physically reside in the brain.

Google

Google become such a household name that we use it as a verb , noun or even as past participle: googled or gerund: googling. Despite it being the name of the all powerful search engine, when refereed to in conversation, it has come to simply mean “search”. The word has even crossed language boundaries being used in many languages such as Afrikaans, Albanian, Chinese and even Zulu.

It has come to the point where client’s say things like I “Googled” my hard drive and couldn’t find it” to IT support. – The struggle is real people.

So where does the word come from?

The prevailing opinion is that Google is derived from the word “googol” which was a term coined by a nine-year-old at the time, Milton Sirotta. He was the nephew to the American mathematician, Edward Kasner.

They say that Kasner asked Milton to invent a name for the number 10 to the power of 100. When calculated the number equates to 1 followed by 100 zeros. Milton called it a googol which was a term made popular in Kasner’s book, Mathematics and the Imagination (co-authored by James Newman).

Google’s use of the term is believed to stem from the companies mission to organize a seemingly infinite and immense amount of information available on the web.

Vape & Vaping

Vaping is the practice of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device. Yip you guessed it, the name comes from the word “vapor”.

Emoji

? won the 2015 Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year Award signifying that these little pictures had reached word-like status. Emojis had impacted on universal communication as a whole. The word Emoji comes from the Japanese word “moji” for letter or character. Add the “e” for “electronic” to the front and there you have it.

Selfie

Selfie comes from the the words “self portrait”. So if you think a new age of narcissism has dawned upon us, you’re quite mistaken. Self portraits have been around for a very long time, with the earliest recognized work being from Jan van Eyck in 1433.

 

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