Maybe two or three weeks after Renn was born, Maria stopped by with some lactation cookies she’d made. She said: “they are full of GALACTAGOGUES!” I thought: no way is that a real word. But if it is, it means something about spaceships, so these will be exciting cookies. I was right–they were exciting cookies–and also wrong, because…well, do you remember maybe in like 2nd grade learning about space for the first time? I’d forgotten a very important point, if I ever really knew it:
Lexically, “galaxy” comes from the “milk”y part of “Milky Way.” As in, the Milky Way got it’s milky name and THEN we decided all things like that are called “galaxies.” This is not the expected order of things in my mind! I am over simplifying; here’s the eytmological story:
1934 Websters doesn’t add a ton except a phrase reminding us that astronomy was different in 1934:
But duh, really, if you think about it, and as always, I can’t believe I hadn’t. GaLAXy, gaLACTic. We know that root! And now: gaLACTagogue.
This IS a real word, and it means a thing that helps your milk supply (side note: what was happening around 1875??). I love a Proto-Indo-European-root-via-Greek, so I’m delighted to tell you that the “agogue” part is YES connected to words like demagogue and pedagogy. Greek agogos is leader, from PIE *ag–“to drive, draw out or forth, move.”* So yes: Draw forth my milk, O Cookies! And what a generally useful suffix, this –agogue, “bringer-forth” of whatever! Leashes? Dogagogues! Old cars? Smogagoues! Plungers? CLOGAGOGUES!
Then I got excited: what about “agog,” then? Related?! Alas:
BUT if it’s not related, then it’s not redundant to combine it with this useful suffix, to refer to a person who really brings the fun at all times: a goguegogue!
I’ll leave you with my personal goguegogue, getting her gogue on as I write:
Ok but also you probably need this too:
(I mean, do you REMEMBER the first time you heard those beep-twangy first bars of “Intergalactic”?? I was never the same.)
*Also fun: *ag- is part of basically every word ever.
Also, there’s an entry for “plutogogue”!!
Kind of weird we don’t say this word every day in 2017, but there’s time to catch up.
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“Draw forth my milk, O Cookies!”
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