Monday, February 6, 2012

Word of the Week - Cool

Cool. It could be argued (successfully, I think) that cool is a word that not only gets used, but over-used. It's the word we use to mean someone is hip, fashionable, or has that certain something that sets them apart as desirable. Or, spinning off that, it's the word we use to say we really like something. It's the word we use to tell someone to stop (cool it!). And of course, it's a temperature word, too. =)

Last week I found myself wanting to write "cool it!" so I looked it up. Well, I didn't find the etymology of that particular use in my quick browsing, but I did find a few of the others interesting. I tend to think of "cool" as a modern word, and that "fashionable" meaning is indeed rather new, coming from 1933. But still, it's older than I thought, and comes, so it is said, from the jazz movement. Which makes sense, because I can totally hear Louis Armstrong in my head going "Cool, man. Cool."

Where it surprised me, though, was that its use of being attached to a sum to give emphasis to the amount is from 1728. You know, like "He won a cool million in the game." I had no idea that one was that old!

In 1825 it adopted the meaning of "calmly audacious." That, I daresay is what made the way for the above-mentioned "fashionable," since, well, it's pretty cool (ha ha ha) to be calmly audacious. =)

I hope everyone had a great weekend and is gearing up for a stellar Monday! Time for me to get down to business--I'm going to finish this manuscript I'm working on in the next three weeks, even if it kills me. So if you have the urge to say a prayer that I survive it . . . ;-)

2 comments:

  1. Love the graphic - and I'm praying. You can do it :)

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    1. Thanks, Joanne. We shall see--I just spent an hour researching minutia. I hate finding information on the logistics of travel in a given year! Argh! LOL

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