Monday, June 24, 2013

Word of the Week - Deserts

Allegory of Justice by Gaetano Gandolfi

"You'll get your just deserts!"

Okay, confession. Because that phrase pronounces the final word as one pronounced the word for the delightful confections that make life worth living, I never once realized it's spelled with one 's' like an arid area. Hadn't a clue. But it is. One 's' but pronounced like desserts. And...why?

Well, that's the interesting bit. =) Apparently it's from a whole different word that either a sandy desert or a sweet dessert--it's from deserve.

Ah!

Okay. So the word deserve is from French, and back in the day when it was entering English (as in, the 13th century), desert was used to mean "that which is deserved." So you deserve your deserts. Which makes total sense, right? And yet it's fallen completely out of use except for in that one phrase about just deserts. (Probably because of the confusion with sandy ground and chocolate, LOL.)

Pretty fun, eh? Happy Monday!

7 comments:

  1. I love learning this! I live in the desert and love dessert, so I'll remember this obscure origination when I get my just deserts. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it fun?? I'm such a word nerd, LOL. Glad you stopped by, Sherida!

      Delete
  2. I had recently heard there was more than one type of desert. I don't know why the French/English/whoever else couldn't just get along! They sure made it confusing for this generation. :)

    Blessings,
    Andrea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right? Kinda like Elisha's parents should have known not to name him something so similar to "Elijah," for the sake of future generations. ;-) Didn't they know we'd forever mix them up?? LOL

      Delete
    2. No kidding! I can never keep straight which one did what. :)

      I'm enjoying getting to know you, Roseanna.

      Blessings,
      Andrea

      Delete
  3. Well, wow. I never knew that! Crazy! And now I get to tell that to all my peeps and look smart. :)
    Susan P

    ReplyDelete