Monday, June 27, 2011

Word of the Week - Adventure

It's officially summer--a time to get out and do. Right? Blue skies, warm sun, green leaves, and a whole world awaiting.

My kids have been seizing the summer, and it makes me grin. Rowyn's often found digging in the dirt, adopting worms as pets. Xoe's latest thing is trying to catch a bunny (good luck with that, Girl-o-Mine), though when that fails she'll settle for playing fairy princess under the weeping cherry tree-castle. Yep. Summer = adventure waiting to happen.

So let's take a look at the word adventure.

Back in the 13th century, auenture meant "that which happens by chance." Hmm. I had no idea that's where the word got its start. It comes from the Old French aventure, which meant "chance, accident, occurrence, event" etc. This was all thanks to the Latin adventurus, which is the future participle of "to come to, reach."

By the 14th century, it had gotten closer to what we think of today, absorbing an element of danger--think "taking one's chances." So it was a perilous undertaking, a gauntlet of one's chances. By 1560, this had evolved to mean "an exciting incident."

And so, as a side note, in the 15th century "adventurer" meant "one who plays at games of chance"--a gambler. And by 1660s was the more familiar "one who seeks adventures." (Oh, and the 'd' got put back in somewhere in the 15th-16th centuries.)

A fun way to start your week. =) Now let's go seek some adventure!

1 comment:

  1. What fun! Looks like we can't literally, SEEK adventure, if it's what happens by chance, eh? ;) But that's all right. I guarantee it will find me! :)

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