Monday, May 20, 2013

Word of the Week - Snap

I'm in a sprint toward the end of Circle of Spies (woo hoo!), and in my marathon writing these last few days have been looking up a lot of words' etymology. This is the first time in a good while I've had a historical character prone to slang, and slang is so tricky! Good thing I enjoy learning this stuff. ;-)

So from my bushel of new-found knowledge I have chosen snap for today. =) Because Slade really, really wanted to tell Marietta to "snap out of it" during the scene I was writing last night. I mean, really wanted to. But I knew that wouldn't work, so I had to prove it to myself.

Snap became a verb in the 1520s, meaning "to take a quick bite" and taken directly from the noun of the similar meaning, which dates from the 15th century. These two meanings were related to animals--a critter snapping its jaws around prey. The meaning of "to break suddenly" came along in the early 1600s (and I had no idea it was nearly a century after "bite"!) "To snap" mentally might be literally from that "break" meaning, but it came way late to the game--as in, 1970s.

Football move? 1887. Sound fingers make? 1670s. (See, I probably would have guessed that one came first. Shows what I know, LOL.) The turtle? 1740s. And then, aha! Snap out of it. My target phrase was a bit older than I thought but still of no help to my 1865 story, joining the party in 1907.

On an unrelated note, I discovered this weekend that Fairchild's Lady, the FREE novella sequel to Ring of Secrets, is available for pre-order on Amazon! I have a post set up dedicated to it on its release day, June 1, but thought I'd mention it today too. ;-)

And just for the fun of sharing, today begins our last week of our school year! Woot!!! =)


  1. Haha, the etymology of a word is so fascinating. Thanks for sharing. I hope you can find a different word or phrase that fits your book just as well!

  2. Fun fun! (and yeah, it's preordered :D)