Words we vocalize every day seem ordinary and familiar to us. We even get the feeling that, for instance, the word “chauffeur” existed forever. There is only this slight nuance: cars themselves re a little over hundred years old… Hence, things aren’t that simple when it comes to our day-to-day vocabulary. Well then, why not recollect interesting stories of other words origin?
Let’s probably start with already familiar “chauffeur”. This is a French lexical unit, except, for a long time it had nothing to do with means of transport. Its literal translation is “stoker”. So, how are drivers connected to stokers? The case is that a steam station, that had to be fired up from time to time, served as an engine for first automobiles. It was only after that when “chauffeurs” we’re already familiar to with emerged.
“Idiot” is an international word. But it didn’t acquire its insulting sense at once. In Ancient Greece, for instance, it was the word for people who avoided political discussions. Who cares, one might ask? Yet, eventually, those who felt no concern for social life got suspected in deliberate silence since the matter of politics was perhaps the most topical issue in Hellas of the time. This is how the word got negative tone. Sort of, you don’t talk about politics – you are an idiot! It is as simple as that.
Recently the word “geek” became very popular. This is how either people almost obsessed with something or modern technologies enthusiasts are called. And despite utterly obvious contemporary connotations, the word itself originated from American travelling circuses. Performers who bit off living chickens’ heads to swallow them before the eyes of the audience were called this way. It was presumably an exclamation that followed the trick that gave the name to modern enthusiasts. Thanks God, nowadays geeks are mostly fond of computers and a monitor, as it is commonly known, is hard to swallow.
There was a time when warm balaklava hats were in trend in England. Probably, many people noticed similarity between the piece of clothing and the toponym. Connection here is direct, indeed. The weird “name” emerged in 19th century. Then, during Crimean War, British military men managed to get frozen even on a warm peninsular. Therefore they started sewing themselves warm headwear. Warm insomuch that only cutouts for eyes and mouth were left. Why, and they decided not to think too long about the name.
The word “Bohemia” also has interesting origins. In 15th – 16th century within the territory of present-day land of Bohemia in Czech Republic there were a lot of gypsies. In time, they moved to France. But they never abandoned their way of life. It was all about revelry, festivities and parties. Often Romae pursued art and as most artists acted eccentrically. Frenchmen, knowing where the water-head was, nicknamed them “Bohemia” by the name of their home land. Later on the word grew past its gypsy subtext.
When you get down to it, every word’s origin has a background of numerous interesting stories. Needless to say that they gather legends and tales like a snowball. This is why, having studied abovementioned examples, we tried to be as accurate as possible. All in all, in the age of technologies development access to encyclopedias and reference books is a little more than simple. Which means everyone who is willing can at least once try and fancy him or herself to be a serious researcher and have a deeper look at words origins. And this is a very engrossing engagement, trust me.
Illustrations by Alexandr Zadnepryanii, specially for OUTLOOK
The most recognizable brand in the world and one of the oldest in France, Louis Vuitton is a symbol of luxury, elitism and aristocracy. It all began with high-quality suitcases, then proceeded to various kinds of bags and nowadays the brand produces everything: women's clothes, men's clothes, outfits for children, footwear and accessories. At that, currently Louis Vuitton doesn’t operate only in luxury segment - they have expanded their influence to pret-a-porter.
"A small territory with a great mission" is the motto under which on February 11, 1929 Lateran Treaty between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See recognized Vatican as a sovereign territory. It was an agreement which opened doors for curious patrons who for centuries had been trading gossip about "What is kept inside Vatican castles?". Evil tongues grumbled that the walled enclave protected magic books of how to seize the world, the castle’s cellars hide torture chambers for sinners, and after liturgies alchemists are busy inventing the Philosopher's Stone. But when museums welcomed visitors, both guests and the Romans gasped with delight. Collectors estimated that the cost of all the works of art featured by almost the smallest country in the world, is 150 times more than the world's GDP.
After having spent merely an hour for a flight from Kiev, I suddenly realized I reached the city where continental Europe’s oldest subway is situated. And things that Budapest underground is famous for are not limited to this. OUTLOOK sets on a trip around metropolitan of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Want to go down?
Thanks to the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Ukraine and personally Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Alisher Abdualiev OUTLOOK was lucky enough to visit this hospitable country. And today we will tell about a unique place - the Mausoleum of the prominent military leader and political figure of Amir Temur.
It is said, the easier it is, the better we feel, however, is it always like that? We know that not all the nations follow this principle. Outlook has found out the strangest, toughest and hard in articulation international languages and would like to share it with the readers.
After the walking along the boisterous streets of Seoul one wants to take it easy in a café drinking a cup of flavored tea, however, it never happens like that. Good teahouses are found out only near Buddhist monasteries or at the bohemian pedestrian street Insadon. Chinese ceremony in Korea that is incomparable with the rough schedule of offices and plants do not reach out people remaining the joy of wise people and privilege of the masters.
United Nations Organization was created in order to cease global violence, protect human rights and eradicate poverty. On October, 24, 1945 founding states ratified the treaty on creation of global body that acquired the name the UN.
Human history remembers Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki. The list goes on and it includes Pompeii where residents turned into stoned monuments against their will. Located near modern Naples, the city with views of Mount Vesuvius was one of the most developed cities not only in the Roman Empire, but also in Europe. Once thriving community it flourished in many spheres: painting...
First exhibition of paintings in the world’s most visited museum the Louvre was opened on 1793. But its building was well-known far beyond France, though the edifice was not used with such lofty cultural purposes.
Despite a wide-spread belief, European flea markets have little in common with both second-hand and ordinary trade rows on traditional merchandise markets. These places per se are unique due to a one-of-a-kind reflection of the country’s spirit and what at first glance seems like plain goods may tell you about its past and help feel a spirit of an era.
They are referred to differently in every other place but are loved, probably, in the same way everywhere. Sure enough, we talk about money or more precisely their “second names” because alongside official ones currencies have common nicknames.
Fantasy story about a boy Bastian, who stole a book with an amulet on its cover, and the adventures of a brave Atreyu - The NeverEnding Story - is undoubtedly an iconic movie. This film classic was created in 1984, before computer graphics, virtual studios and wonders drawn up on the screen. And a few people know what a reverse side of the film is...
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For more than 50 years a World Day of Twin Cities falls on the last Sunday of April. The beginning of the World War II is considered to be a starting point of town-twinning. Enthusiasts from Coventry – a major industrial centre of England which survived intense bombing by the Nazis – sent to the Soviet Stalingrad, the city of the same level of industrial development and population, letter supporting confrontation to Hitler. In return they got a warm and appreciative response.
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It seems that Movers and Shakers of our world cannot fall ill with such typical for mere mortal diseases like rash or gastric ulcer. They gravitate to mental disorders which apparently affected their genius. OUTLOOK had a good dig into the history of physical illness tortured Empress Catherine, great mind Voltaire, writer Swift and other famous personalities.
"One, who lives in the house on the fringe, is the first to protect his people", this Ukrainian proverb fits the history of the Israeli people, but instead of "house" it shall be "fortress". When the Romans attacked, Jerusalem residents fought the Romans with inhuman valour "back to back" till enemy legions pushed them to the last stand. Concentrated in the fortress of Masada, near the Dead Sea, the Jews rebels showed brave resistance to the Romans. Although few people survived, Masada still has emblematic value as a monument to national courage.
Merely on hearing “Silk Road” we picture valiant wanderers and caravans full of precious items and exotic articles that cross countries and continents. Today we tell about Tajik cities that acted as major transfer points on this trading artery.