Even more wor d’oeuvres

Here’s the latest:

1. “Flan” and “flange” share no common root as far as I can tell, despite their common little flare outward.

2. Celery and accelerate share no common root*. Celery comes from French, and before that Italian, and before that late Latin, and before that Greek for parsley, and until it got to English, it always started with “s.” Accelerate comes from Latin (celer, “swift,” into accelerare, to hasten). Apparently celery takes forever to grow, so I guess this is all fine.

3. While “Tosca” as in the opera seems to originate from a form meaning “Tuscan,” tosca is also a Spanish word referring to either calcium carbonate or coralline limestone deposits (in Argentina/Puerto Rico respectively ), and “toscamente” means “roughly.”

4. “Detail” and “tailor” are related–tailler is to cut in French, which comes from Latin taliare to split. So, “detail” as in “a small (because it was cut that way!) piece.” Here’s the writing that made me wonder about “detail” in the first place: a beautiful essay by Brandon Taylor and oh gosh it is only in typing that name that I realize how it fits into all this, too!! Detail tailor Taylor whooshhhhh.

5. Pommes frites: French Fries :: parapraxis: Freudian slip. (Also, help me think of more like that!!**) I just learned “parapraxis” from Erin Forbes, and far prefer it.

6. Also thanks to Erin Forbes I had the pleasure of trying to remember how to sing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” with her daughter. And I will be honest and note that I can’t recall ever consciously connecting “atrocious” and “atrocity” before, but of course. And indeed “atrocity” is closer to the original, preserving as it does the gravity of the Latin source which meant “fierce, savage, cruel,” gravity which has been much weakened in “atrocious” since the 19th century (otherwise that song would really take a turn in the middle). The Latin is atrox, which as you might now imagine, is also the name of an avant garde metal band in Norway, and also THE LARGEST INDOOR HAUNTED ATTRACTION IN THE SOUTHEAST! (emphasis theirs). I think it could also be a good nail color name, for a very intense chartreuse or similar.

That’s all the news! Love to you all ♥️


*ba dum..chshhhhhh?? Nope: the thing called celery root isn’t the root of the thing we call celery. Sometimes just wtgf.

**It’s the thing in the thing’s language.


Leave a Reply