Cool Word Origins A-Z

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Can you name the Word Etymologies from A to Z?

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MeaningWordEtymology
A substance/drug used primarily to alleviate headachesCoined as a trademark in 1899 but now a generic term
A state of wild uproar or confusionA corruption of the name of notorious mental instutition Bethlehem Asylum
A hot beverage often topped with whipped creamNamed for its color's resemblance to to the habits worn by Capuchin monks
The acceptance of two contradictory ideas or beliefs at the same timeCoined by George Orwell in '1984'
A transuranic element. Symbol: Es; atomic number: 99Named in 1952 after the 20th Century's preeminent physicist
To kill, wound, or assault an unpopular officer with a grenadeVietnam War-era shortening of the word for a type of grenade
Whole-heartedly enthusiastic and loyalComes (by way of the US Marines) from the Chinese 'gōng hé', literally “work together”
A large herbivorous animal found along the shores of rivers and lakes in AfricaFrom the Greek for 'river horse'
An acute contagious viral infection characterized by inflammation of the respiratory tract and by feverFrom the latin word 'influence,' due to the belief that epidemics were caused by the influence of the stars
A playful imitation of language consisting of invented, meaningless wordsCoined by Lewis Carroll in 'Alice Through the Looking Glass'
A popular condiment consisting of pureed tomatoes and spicesFrom the Malaysian word 'kechap' meaning fish sauce
A woman who has romantic feelings for another womanMeaning 'from Lesbos,' the Greek island where the famous woman-loving poet Sappho lived
Foolishly sentimentalA corruption of the name of Mary Magdalene, who was always depicted weeping
MeaningWordEtymology
A high-strength, resilient synthetic polymer often used to make stockingsCoined as a generic by du Pont as distinct from known words and having no prior meaning
Alright, fine, proceeding normallyA comical initialism of the words 'All Correct,' with the joke being that since the words were spelled wrong things weren't all correct
A freelance photographer who takes candid photos of celebritiesFrom the last name of a character in Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita'
A person who betrays his or her own country by aiding an invading enemyFrom the colloborationist leader of Norway in World War II
An American nocturnal carnivore with a masklike black stripe across the eyes and a bushy tail From the Algonquin 'arahkun' meaning 'he digs with his hands'
A badly confused/ridiculously muddled situationWWII-era acronym for 'Situation Normal: All (expletive) Up'
To excite (another) by exposing something desirable while keeping it out of reach.Comes from a mythological character who was cursed to always have food and drink just out of reach
To fail to interest or impressBegan as a facetious play on its now-antonym before becoming standard
A large open porch which extends from a houseThrough Hindi, either from Persian 'bar amadah' or Spanish 'baranda'
Any climbing shrub of the legume family, having showy, pendent clusters of flowersNamed after the American botanist Caspar Wistar but with an apparent misprint of one of the vowels
A form of electromagnetic radiation capable of penetrating solidsFrom the German X-Strahl, with the 'X' symbolizing their unknown nature
A thread made of natural or synthetic fibers and used for knitting and weavingFrom the Lithuanian word 'Zarna' meaning guts/entrails
Ludicrously or whimsically comical; clownishFrom an Italian stock character in old comedies who aped the principal actors

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Created Jan 25, 2010Editor's PickReportNominate
Tags:A-Z, cool, Editor Pick, etymology, origin, Word Etymologies