Word Meanings

January 15th, 2012 | Posted in Misc | Comments Off

Have you ever thought about how some words get their meanings? Especially when it has more than one meaning or the word does not at all sound like what it means?

Take for example the word casters. Technically a “caster” is a type of wheel assembly that is used in furniture construction. The wheels on an office chair are called casters for example.

Yet looking at the word casters that doesn’t quite ring true to me. At first glance it sounds like a caster is something that casts. But which meaning of cast are we talking about?

One definition of ‘cast’ is a group of people involved in the production of a movie, tv show, or play. In that sense a ‘caster’ could be the person that decides who plays what role.

Another is to throw or toss, when fishing you cast your line into the water. In the Book of Revelation the devil and his angels are cast into the lake of fire. A “castoff” is something that’s been thrown away. A “castaway” is somebody that’s been thrown from their ship (or plane), usually ending up on a deserted island somewhere.

I realize that there’s probably not a lot of point to questions like this but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about them once in a while just simply because a word will suddenly sound strange to me, even if it’s one I use a lot.

At the very least it’s something to think about.

Technorati Tags: words, food for thought, meanings

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