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The Grumpy Grinch?

The Grumpy Grinch?

I was looking for information on the word grumpy and came across this exchange on the origin of grinch from the 1957 Dr. Seuss classic.  The word grincheux in French means grumpy.  Could this be the word Theodore Geisel used to come up with this name?

Moving on to the word grumpy.  Perhaps, it’s from the Danish grum, or cruel?  Or, it mimics the sound one makes when expressing displeasure?

Either way, it sounds pretty miserable… Cheerful post to come next week!

Checkmate!

Checkmate!

I am a student of Arabic and love coming across Arabic words and phrases that have migrated to English. One of my favorites is the phrase “Checkmate.” Playing chess (the few times that I did), I never knew what the phrase meant, but I didn’t think much of it. That changed when an Arabic professor asked our class what the words Check and Mate sounded like in Arabic. Well, come to think of it, they sound like Sheikh and Mat, which translate to King and Dead or The King is Dead

For those interested in chess, I’ve linked to a great podcast on how an incarcerated teenager used chess to reconnect with a teacher and the outside world.

Baia Fonda

Ever wonder where ‘Fundy’ came from?  As in, the Bay of Fundy?  Well, it may come from the Portuguese baia fonda or ‘deep bay.’  I just started reading A Great and Noble Scheme by John Mack Faragher, and this nugget was in the opening pages.  The Bay is 700 feet deep, in points, and has the highest recorded tide change in the world – up to 56 feet! For more information on the Bay, check out Natural Resources Canada.