50 Strange and Fascinating Word Origins in the English Language

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'Austria' is derived from the Latin word for 'Eastern', whereas 'Australia' is derived from the Latin word for 'Southern'.

27. The term “Chronic” (in relation to Marijuana) originates from Snoop Dogg mistaking the term “hydroponic” for “hydrochronic” when he was first introduced to indoor-grown marijuana in the early 90’s.

28. The word “canvas” is derived from the word “cannabis” because canvas used to be made from hemp fiber.

29. The word "yolk" is derived from an Old English word that means "yellow." So egg white and egg yellow.

30. The word "Swag" originates from the Scandinavian word svagga which refers to a saggy bag and dates back to 200 years.

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31Log in

Log in

The phrase "log in" is derived from entries made in ships' logs, which are in turn derived from actual logs.

32. The word 'Panic' originated from the Greek god 'Pan', who is often depicted with a large and erect penis. He was known for teaching shepherds how to masturbate.

33. The word 'escalate' was derived from escalator, not the other way around.

34. Mum in the saying "Mum's the word" is a Middle English word, meaning "Silence"; derived from the "mummer" who does pantomime and just acts without saying anything.

35. The word “Wedding” originates from the Anglo-Saxon word “wedd” which meant wager or gamble.

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The slang term 'Quid' (for British pound sterling) which appeared in the late 16th century may have derived from the Latin phrase 'quid pro quo' which loosely translates to 'this for that.'

37. The word "carnival" originates with Carna, the Roman "Goddess of Pork and Beans", being later adapted by Christianity and folk legend to mean "meat-goodbye" at the last days before Lent.

38. Chewbacca's name is derived from собака (sobaka), the Russian word for dog.

39. The name "Ten Gallon Hat" doesn't refer to the volume the hat holds. It is derived from the Spanish word galón (braid), ten indicating the number of braids used as a hat band.

40. The word "Gasoline" does not originate from the word gas. It comes from the word "Cazeline", after John Cassell, who first commercially sold the stuff.

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The word "bride" originally started as an old English word meaning, "cook."

42. The english word "caravan" is derived from the hindi word "karwan" meaning a "horse drawn carriage"

43. The term "spam" meaning internet junk is derived from a Monty Python skit. Spam makers Hormel, while never happy with the use of the word spam for junk email, have been supportive of the sketch and issued a special tin of Spam for the Broadway premiere of Spamalot based on Monty Python.

44. The word "testify" originates from "testicle", and in the past oaths sometimes involved touching the other man's testicles.

45. The name Asus originates from Pegasus... Only the last four letters of the word were used in order to give the name a high position in alphabetical listings.



The word “companion”, originates from the Latin word com meaning “with” and panis meaning “bread”.

47. The word "rivalry" originates from when people fought over the lands next to rivers, which were the most suitable for human settlements.

48. The term "okay" is derived from "OK" and not the other way around.

49. The meaning of "abracadabra" is derived from Aramaic (ancient Hebrew) meaning "it is created as I speak it".

50. The word 'Sith' originates from the Scottish Highlands semi-deities which was Scottish fairies. This gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘Sith Lord.’

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