Monday, December 9, 2013

Word of the Week - Fix

I was looking through a website called "You Can't Say That!" last week, which is dedicated entirely to words like I feature here. One of the entries that surprised me--and sent me scurrying to my latest manuscript to see if I used this when I shouldn't have, was fix.

Fix has been around since the 14th century. But only in the meaning of "to set one's eyes or mind on something." It comes from the Latin fixus, meaning "fast, immovable, established, settled." By about 1400, it added the meaning of "fasten, attach." So early on, we could fix our eyes upon someone or fix a button to a coat. But not until 1737 could we fix something that was broken.

And according to the website above, that meaning was considered slang and not in use by any but the lowest classes until the late 1800s, and then only in America. Hence why I went flying to my galleys of Circle of Spies...where I was relieved to see that there was only one use of fix as "repair," and it was used by my hero, who isn't exactly from the highest echelon of society. ;-)

Oh, and we mustn't forget the meaning of "tamper with." That joined the fray in 1790. Not, I daresay, that people did not fix fights or juries before then...

I hope everyone had a great weekend! We enjoyed seeing my daughter's ballet studio perform The Nutcracker on Saturday night--and were supposed to enjoy it again yesterday, but it got snowed out. So we enjoyed our first winter storm instead. ;-)


4 comments:

  1. What a sweet girl!! And I have to say, I never would have guessed that to repair wasn't the original meaning! Wow.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this blog and love your daughter's photo! How beautiful! It is good to get to know you a bit more through this site! Blessings on your continued writing! Mary Lou K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mary Lou! Good to see you over here as well as on Facebook. =) Merry Christmas!

      Delete