Wednesday, May 27, 2009

wordy word word

Ran across meretricious. It sounds like merit but doesn't really mean the same. (Meretricious is false and gaudy and deceiving. Merit isn't.) This kind of thing confuses me.
But, ahaa! the root for both is merere (I'd put a line over the second E but don't know how, in Blogger), a Latin word meaning "to earn." And meretricious comes from meretrix, a female earner: a prostitute.
That's the patriarchy at work, ladies and gentlemen.

Now I'm just keeping my ears open on the subway and bus to hear the name Meretricia.
It won't take long, I'm sure.

No comments: