put the lime in the coconut (fadedjae) wrote in steeltrap,
put the lime in the coconut

The Word Origin Calendar

malarkey - As a piece of nonsense to be dispensed with immediately, "malarkey" - humbug or bunkum, in earlier times - has been with us since humans learned to speak. The origin of the word is unknown, however. Some scholars link it to the Irish pronunciation of the proper name Malachi, others to the Greek malakos, which means soft or effeminate. In print, it dates only to 1922, when it turned up in a San Francisco newspaper.

ibuprofen - This nonsteroidal crystalline compound, used as an anti-inflammatory and painkilling medication, was first brought to market in 1967. Its inventor, a British chemist named Stuart Adams, named it after its ingredients and qualities: i(so) bu(tyl) pro(pionic) fen ( that is, phenyl). He soon lost the rights to his invention, but the new owners of the patent kept the name.

clandestine - A clam is a secretive creature, given to hiding itself when it senses danger. Its name, in fact, derives from the identically formed Latin adverb clam, meaning "secretly." Combined with the root of our word "destiny," "clandestine" means something like "intended to have an outcome that is unknown to you and me," describing activities that are done on the quiet for illicit and possibly malign purposes.

accordion - Borrowed from the French, the German akkor means "harmony" or "concord of sounds." Fans of the accordion, a musical instrument invented in Austria in 1829, will agree that it makes a pleasing variety of noises, though those who are not so fond of the instrument may not be in accord.
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