Mistletoe. In modern German, Mist means "animal excrement." The ancient Germanic formation misteltan means something like "a twig that causes animals to excrete," the belief apparently being the parasitic plant's berries gave the birds that ate them loose bowels.Gee, now it makes perfect sense why we hang this stuff up in doorways so we can go around kissing each other. Ahhhh, romance!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Steaming Pile Of Christmas Ick
Last year one of my Christmas presents from my parents was a Word Origin desk calender. Every day you rip off a new page, and it gives you a new word, along with the origin of said word. I tend to neglect this calender, so I often find myself ripping off several days because I'm about a week behind. Just in time for the holidays, this is what awaited me on the Sat/Sun December 6/7 entry.