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Author Topic: Origins  (Read 25234 times)
Ed
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« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2008, 02:16:41 PM »

I thought I'd written this in here before, but obviously not - the word 'boring'. I had to drill a hole through a 36" stone wall the other day, and during the half hour it took me to drill through the damn thing, I thought to myself, dear God this is boring. And then it dawned on me that it was quite literally 'boring' - boring a hole in the wall. Then I thought back in time to a time when drills weren't yet invented. Then they used a bow and a stick, with some sand to act as an abrasive. Imagine how long it must have taken to drill a hole in a chunk of stone to use as a grindstone, or to insert a post into a building, or a vertical bar in a loophole.

Surely this must be the origin of the word 'boring', as in tedious? scratch
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« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2008, 03:50:36 PM »

I was driving along today when I spotted a Toyota MR2 - famously pronounced 'merde' in French - which most people know means 'shit' in English. Anyhoo, that started me thinking the word 'merde' sounds a fair bit like 'mud' if you say it with a French accent. So now I'm wondering if 'merde's the origin of the word 'mud', or vice versa scratch I wonder how one would find out.

According to Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary:
mud n [ME mudde prob. fr. MLG; akin to OE mõs bog – more at MOSS] (14c)  *

According to Wiktionary:
merde
From Old French from Latin merda.

Noun

merda f.

   1. (slang, vulgar) dung, excrement, shit


* The o in mõs was supposed to have a straight bar over it, rather than a tilde, but I couldn't figure out how to create that symbol...
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Pharosian
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« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2008, 04:10:28 PM »

I thought I'd written this in here before, but obviously not - the word 'boring'.

Well, you *did* write about it before, just not here. It was in the Good Morning, Good Night thread:

I spent all day today marking and drilling holes in joists while labourers chipped away lime plaster above me, which created clouds of irritating dust all day, and at the same time rained sandy grit through the gaps in between the floor boards above my head. To make matters worse I had to be constantly looking upwards, while a mix of the dust and the wood chippings from the drill bit blew into my eyes from the fan on the motor of the drill. Awful. I marked and drilled over 200 25mm holes today - 36 joists, 6 holes in each, ten feet off the ground. This doesn't count any of the holes I drilled in the floors and framing timbers undecided

I swear this is where the word 'boring' came from. It probably started out with people who had experienced the mind numbing tedium of boring a hole using nought but a stick and some sand, and they'd come to say of something tedious, "It was like boring." To which a fellow serf might ask, "Wood, or stone?" Whereupon the first serf might reply, "Stone - it was akin to boring a ruddy great hole in stone, using nought but a stick and some sand." Over the course of history we've dropped the simile and now refer to anything mind numbingly tedious as simply 'boring'. That's my guess, anyway. rolleyes Faaaak....

So apparently you had an episode of deja vu...  santa_azn

And to make matters worse, that's not the origin of boring. Or at least if it is, none of the sources available to me admits it. They all agree that the origin is unknown.  scratch

The verb to bore as in "to drill" comes to us from before the 12th century, but the verb "to bore" as to cause weariness in others didn't come into the language until around 1768.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2008, 04:12:29 PM by Pharosian » Logged
Ed
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« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2008, 04:48:59 PM »

Ah, well done that man. And yes - deja vous is pretty common in the construction industry, on a 'same shit different day' type basis. It can be pretty mind numbing at times.

I still reckon it's too much of a coincidence for the act of drilling not to be the origin of the word, though. It's a dreadfully dull operation. santa_undecided
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
Ed
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« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2009, 04:43:27 AM »

Happy?

hap1  [hap]  Show IPA noun, verb, happed, hap⋅ping.
–noun 1.   one's luck or lot.
2.   an occurrence, happening, or accident.

–verb (used without object) 3.   to happen: if it so hap.

Source - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hap


So 'happy' really means 'lucky', doesn't it? And hapless = luckless scratch
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2009, 06:04:51 AM »

Just picked up on this thread. The Lone Ranger, Kemo Sabe is Spanish, he who knows.
Television is ripe with innuendo. Captain Pugwash had Seaman Stains and Roger the Cabin boy.
I read in a book on word derivation that Aussies call Brits Poms because they eat a lot of apples. Talk about thomas Crapper research. POM is Prisoner of Her Majesty as Brits coming to OZ were crims.
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digitaldeath
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« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2009, 06:07:39 AM »

When Rolls Royce developed a new car a while ago they were going to call it Silver Mist. Mist is Cow Shit in German so it became Silver Cloud.
The Colt Starion was the result of a rushed promotion over the phone. It was meant to be STALLION.
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2009, 07:15:48 AM »

Unfortunately, "Seaman Stains" and "Roger the Cabin boy" are an urban myth. Be nice if it were true.
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