16 Jun 2012


Though it may well have been replaced by another word between the time of my typing this (27th May 2012) and my getting round to actually posting it, one of the words of choice used by young people here in the north east of England to insult each other seems to be Freak which incidentally according to several sites seems to have been used in this context since the 1660's.

Hmm, interesting ...... in my time it was Nerd.

And who do we have to blame for this word?

Well, it seems the honour goes to DR SEUSS, author of such terrific books as 'The Cat In The Hat', 'Green Eggs And Ham', and 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas'.

Coined in 1950 in the book 'If I Ran The Zoo' Nerd was the name given to one of  creations.
The young narrator declaring And then, just to show them, I’ll sail to Ka-Troo and bring back an It-Kutch, a Preep and a Proo/A Nerkle, a Nerd and a Seersucker too!

And that's not all, according to Ben Jackson in an article in The Sun newspaper Dr Seuss isn't the only one to have brightened the English language.

Bump and Swagger. Although it might be it that these words just weren't seen in print before he used them, these are two of the many thousands of words credited to William Shakespeare. Used in Romeo And Juliet -  Juliet's nurse on recalling when, as a child, Juliet hit her head says she had a bump as big as young cockerel’s stone.” Whilst in A MidSummer Night's Dream - On coming across an amateur dramatic's group Puck exclaims What hempen homespuns have we swaggering here?

Cyberspace. First used in1982 by sci-fi writer William Gibson in the short story Burning Chrome, a computer geek says of his friends computer I knew every chip in Bobby’s simulator by heart; it looked like your workaday Ono-Sendai VII, the ‘Cyberspace Seven’.”

And who would have thought it?

A French monk,  Francois Rabelais, living in the 1500's is responsible for coining many of the bawdy terms used to describe, err, bedroom romps.

Read more of the article by Clicking HERE.

PS. For all you Dr Seuss fans out there, I highly recommend THIS SITE.


naida said...

Very cool Petty! I love that Shakespeare and Suess are credited with those. Esepcially Swagger :) My kids now say 'Swag' lol.
Enjoy your weekend.

Kelly said...

This is really interesting and it's funny where so many of the expressions we use really come from.

Fairday Morrow said...

I always love finding out where words come from. I never knew where nerd originated. I learned a lot here today. Thanks!

ashok said...

interesting info.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I didn't know Seuss used the word Nerd. Now that is funny! Shakespeare really did create some awesome words...I particularly enjoy the odd phrases he coined.


Kalyan said...

Nice knowing...thanks for sharing!

Betty Manousos said...

how very interesting, tracy!
thanks for sharing this post and info.
you know, i'impressed...i learned something new today, thank you!

enjoy your sunday!


Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books said...

I love that I learn the most interesting things from your blog. Dr Seuss is awesome and even more so since he came up with the word "nerd".

The Golden Eagle said...

So Dr. Suess came up with "nerd". I would never have guessed that one.

Shakespeare invented a lot of words, didn't he?

Interesting post!

Marinela said...

Very interesting, Tracy!
Love your posts :)
Lots of love

Jenners said...

I love hearing about the history of words. And I hope to coin one someday!!!