Monday, November 17, 2014
Word of the Week - Scene
But there were some other interesting facts to learn about scene while I was there. Not surprisingly, the word comes straight from Latin (via Old French), with the expected meaning of "a subdivision of a play." What I didn't realize was that is shares a root with shine--the original Latin and Greek words carried a notion of the physical stage or booth that actors used too, and hence were similar to shade and shine.
The "part of a play" meaning existed in English from the 1530s...by the 1540s it could be used for the physical apparatus of a stage...and by the 1590s, it had taken on "the place in with a literary work occurs" and therefore also a general setting or place where anything occurs, not just literary work.
You could go "behind the scenes" of something by the 1660s. And by 1761, people could "make a scene" with their stormy outbursts.
Not that I would ever do such a thing... ;-)
Have a lovely week!