Archives for category: words
The “R” in “Rx” stands for the Latin word “recipe,” meaning “take,” and the first doctor to use “Rx” used it as a verb with the same meaning, “Rx two aspirin” being equivalent to today’s “Take two aspirin.” (The word “recipe” had had the same function from the 13th through the 17th centuries.) Those two letters were a 19th-century take on a 16th-century symbol, the letter R with a line through its slanted leg—the line signaling that the “R” is functioning as an abbreviation. It wasn’t till the early 20th century that “Rx” came to be used as the noun we know today. As for the noun “recipe,” it followed the same trajectory, referring to a medical prescription for about 100 years before it developed its connection with cooking in the early 17th century.

Merriam- Webster (source)


The differences between venom and poison:

Poisons must be absorbed via a mucus membrane (lungs, intestinal lining, nose, etc.).

Venoms must be injected, from a special appendage for this purpose.

It seems like venomous animals are more active with their toxins, (doing it on purpose) while poisonous substances are more passive (i.e. they must be eaten or inhaled). I say substances because not only animals can be poisonous, but things like plants and bleach are too. However, only animals are venomous.


Here’s an interesting related video:


The Roaming Naturalist (source)

List of Venomous Animals (wiki)









1. Highly original and proving influential on later work.
2. Of or relating to semen or seed.


From Latin semen (seed). Ultimately from the Indo-European root se- (to sow) which also gave us seed, sow, season, seminary, and disseminate. Earliest documented use: 1398.


– Many punctuation marks were created by mashing together the letters of a short Latin word or phrase.

– This symbol (#)  is called an Octothorp.

Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader (source, via Neatorama)

The phrase “wild hair” (as in ‘he took off from work because he had a wild hair’) is short for “wild hair up his butt.” It means to have a fixation or obsession with something, because if you have a wild hair up your butt you can’t think about anything else.

The Washington Monthly (source)

Not to be confused with

The word “alcohol” probably comes from an Arabic word for an ancient powder used as an eye makeup. The original word “al-ghawl” also gave us the English word “ghoul” and can trace the etymology of calling alcohol “spirits.”

(Condensing the powder into a useable makeup caused a distillation of sorts, and those that breathed the vapors were thought to be possessed by supernatural beings (spirits), similar to the effects of being drunk.)

VIAS Encyclopedia (source)

The word “gay” had another original meaning – and I don’t mean happy.

“In addition to its original and continuing senses of “merry, lively”and “bright or showy,” gay  has had various senses dealing withsexual conduct since the 17th century. A gay woman  was a prostitute, a gay man  a womanizer, a gay house  a brothel. This sexual world included homosexuals too, and gay  as an adjective meaning “homosexual” may go back to the late 1930s.” (source)

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