Friday, 1 February 2013

What could you have named better?

This started as a Blog about ‘pet hates’ a question a few people have asked me recently, I must look particularly ‘scowl-ridden’ at the moment. When you ask people what ticks them off, they list a number of things that make you feel self-absorbed for your one selfish pet hate. The masses list: mean people, lost money, crime, hatred, injustice etc.

Mine is, when the tea bag label falls into your tea on a 10 min break. Ok I know this is ridiculous but that’s it I like a dry label to dunk the bag whilst it’s brewing. If it falls in I curse for Britain (grated 1940s swear words but still)
 But, today when brewing a calming camomile tea, the little blurb was quite enlightening, apparently the Greeks inspired by the camomile’s distinct apple-like smell, called it ‘kamia-melon’ (ground apple).  I like this…it’s obvious, it makes sense and you can count on the Greek culture, so much nobler than the Romans. I’m Welsh and as such have never forgiven the Romans. As the Monty boys ask: “What have the Romans ever done for us?” Hmmmmm
But it got me thinking, what would you have named differently if you’d been there at the beginning with the Greeks: Bee-jam for honey? Monkey enigma tree? Empty cake (Doughnut)? 
I love the birth of a word, and if anything that’s the ‘QI’ of being a Librarian in a Land based college, Natural history/Horticulture loves a good root word. Our students are so familiar with Latin terms they throw them about with the confidence of text speak. I’m proud of them for this, it is in my book (excuse the pun) the ultimate street-wise. 

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