Monday, January 21, 2013

Word of the Week - Seat

Young Lady Seated at the Virginals by Johannes Vermeer, 1670

I was looking up back seat and saw these entries. And given that they came up in the search backwards (entry 2 before entry 1), I had a moment when I thought seat as in a place of government--like a county seat--pre-dated the thing on which we sit. Not so, but there are some interesting tidbits with this word. =)

Seat, "thing which one sits on," is from about 1200. No great surprise there, that it's one of the Ye Olde English words, eh? But the second meaning of "residence, abode, established place" wasn't long in following, coming into be by the latter part of the same century. It took it a little over 100 years to evolve into "where a government sits."

By 1600, the literal version of the word had extended to include "the posterior of the body." For the part of clothing covering that part, 1835. And finally, seat belt is from 1932--their first appearances being in airplanes.

On more interesting tidbit on that second meaning of seat goes back to the Old English sæt -- which not only meant "a place one sits in ambush" but also "resident, inhabitant." That, I did not know. But it's apparently where the -set ending comes from in British town names like Dorset or Somerset (hey, I have a Somerset around here! LOL) 
I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Oh, and a quick update on little Haley, for those who have been praying. They didn't get the whole tumor--an MRI will tell them how much of it they got, somewhere between 50 and 90%. But Haley's doing really well and has even been transferred to the general Peds ward! Please do keep praying--this isn't over yet, and her poor parents are close to overwhelm.


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