The etymology of the word tea can be traced back to the various Chinese pronunciations of the word. Nearly all the words for tea worldwide, fall into three broad groups: te, cha and chai, which reflected the history of transmission of tea drinking culture and trade from China to countries around the world. The few exceptions of words for tea that do not fall into these three broad groups are mostly from the minor languages from the botanical homeland of the tea plant, and likely to be the ultimate origin of the Chinese words for tea. Notably, none of these words mean 'dinner' or a late afternoon meal.
- "Etymology of tea" | 2020-03-14 | 67 Upvotes 23 Comments
OK (spelling variations include okay, O.K., and ok) is an English word (originally American English) denoting approval, acceptance, agreement, assent, acknowledgment, or a sign of indifference. OK is frequently used as a loanword in other languages. It has been described as the most frequently spoken or written word on the planet. The origins of the word are disputed.
As an adjective, OK principally means "adequate" or "acceptable" as a contrast to "bad" ("The boss approved this, so it is OK to send out"); it can also mean "mediocre" when used in contrast with "good" ("The french fries were great, but the burger was just OK"). It fulfills a similar role as an adverb ("Wow, you did OK for your first time skiing!"). As an interjection, it can denote compliance ("OK, I will do that"), or agreement ("OK, that is fine"). It can mean "assent" when it is used as a noun ("the boss gave her the OK to the purchase") or, more colloquially, as a verb ("the boss OKed the purchase"). OK, as an adjective, can express acknowledgement without approval. As a versatile discourse marker or back-channeling item, it can also be used with appropriate intonation to show doubt or to seek confirmation ("OK?", "Is that OK?").
- "Origins of the “OK” Word" | 2020-12-10 | 17 Upvotes 1 Comments
This is a list of etymologies proposed for the word OK or okay. The majority can be easily classified as false etymologies, or possibly folk etymologies. H. L. Mencken, in The American Language, lists serious candidates and "a few of the more picturesque or preposterous". Allen Walker Read surveyed a variety of explanations in a 1964 article titled The Folklore of "O. K." Eric Partridge described O.K. as "an evergreen of the correspondence column."
- "List of Proposed Etymologies of OK" | 2021-03-31 | 71 Upvotes 24 Comments
A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important question. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or audiences toward a false conclusion. A red herring may be used intentionally, as in mystery fiction or as part of rhetorical strategies (e.g., in politics), or may be used in argumentation inadvertently.
The term was popularized in 1807 by English polemicist William Cobbett, who told a story of having used a strong-smelling smoked fish to divert and distract hounds from chasing a rabbit.
- "Red herring" | 2021-11-14 | 8 Upvotes 10 Comments