||[Feb. 6th, 2007|06:43 pm]
Y'know how Albus Dumbledore is the "Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards?"
Taken from http://www.etymonline.com
1832, jocular for "great man, boss," Amer.Eng., from Algonquian (Natick) mugquomp "important person," used since 1884 of Republicans who refused to support James G. Blaine's presidential candidacy, hence "one who holds himself aloof from party politics."
Yup, an American word. Betcha thought it wasn't real, right? Yeah. Me neither.
Let's see what else we can find...
Let's try Dumbledore's opening speech, since we're on a Dumbledore track:
"Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!"
1922, from nit "nothing," from Ger. dial. or Yiddish, from M.L.G. (see nix) + wit.
c.1380, blober "a bubble," probably echoic of bubbling water. Original notion of "bubbling, foaming" survives in the figurative meaning "to cry" (c.1400). Meaning "whale fat" first attested 1664; earlier it was used in ref. to jellyfish (1602).
1780, a hybrid with a L. suffix on a Gmc. word, from odd (q.v.), on model of fragments.
Probably from O.E. twiccian "to pluck," of obscure origin; perhaps related to twitch. Meaning "to make fine adjustments" is attested from 1966.
Yiddish? Jellyfish? Oddment a real word over 200 years old? Absolutely fascinating. Check out the website, stick a couple words in. You'll be astonished and amazed. Money-back guarantee (1679, originally "person giving something as security").
My favorite find yet? Looking up kitchen I found this:
Phrase everything but the kitchen sink is from World War II armed forces slang, in ref. to intense bombardment.
Mmm, intense bombardment.
*Disclaimer: all etymologies quoted directly from the Online Etymology Dictionary at http://www.etymonline.com, which in turn references multiple other works.