Have you often wondered when you speak a word as to how that must have been originated? Would you believe a word like Quarantine would have a historical significance? Well here are some words whose origin might be more than what looks at the surface.

  1. Check:

    This one small word which we use every day has a lot of history in it. It has evolved through different languages and resulted in the current meaning – take a close look at something or to verify something. It originated in Persian and Arabic where it meant “King”. Then it was slowly used in chess as checkmate meaning – King is dead. Then “to control” then it came to the meaning we know today.

  2. Telephone:

    It has the Greek language as its originator. Tele means far away and phone means sound so when you combine it, it becomes far away sound. Which is exactly why we use it (Telephone) –  To communicate and listen to far away sounds of our near and dear.  

  3. Bonsai:

    We all are so familiar with this Japanese term which in the literal sense means “Planted in a container”.  This art is not originally from Japan. It originated in China in 700 AD. It was known as “Pun tsai” whereby using special techniques they could grow dwarf trees in containers. It was in The Kamakura period where Japanese adopted many Chinese original trademarks that Pun tsai art was introduced.  They developed it due to the influence of Zen Buddhism and the fact that Japan is only 4% of the Chinese mainland. Around the year 1800 scholars of Chinese arts renamed it as Bonsai to differentiate it from ordinary Hachi-no-ki.

  4. Sabotage:

    The word has its origin in French. It now means deliberate action to cause harm or destruction. It was believed that some workers from the Netherlands used to throw ‘sabots’ (clogs) to deliberately damage them. Though Etymology doesn’t support it, it rather tells that the French source word actually means walking noisily as such wearing wooden shoes (As it makes a lot of noise while walking). It was also metamorphically used to refer to labor disputes rather than damage. 

  5. Quarantine:

    It means that you restrict or separate someone’s movements. It comes from Italian variant of ‘Quaranta Giorni’ which means forty days. As that was the amount of time ships were isolated before passengers or crew could enter the city during the black plague epidemic. The passengers had to be isolated for 30 days to see if they developed black plague symptoms. Later it was increased to 40 days and hence gave rise to the word Quarantine.