Learning about the origin of words is always interesting. Why do we name a certain word in that way but not in another tells us not only about the language itself but also about history.
For example, “sandwich”. We know it as a sausage between two pieces of bread. But what is the history behind it?
It comes after the Lord Sandwich. This sandwich repeatedly saved him from starvation. Lord sandwich was a passionate gamble player. He could play all day long, and in order not to be distracted from the game, he would tell his servant to bring him some meat between two pieces of bread. That food did not require knives and forks, which proved very convenient because sandwiches quickly became very popular.
Let’s have a look at another word. For example, “boycott”. This word we hear every day on the radio, TV and in newspapers. Who would think that it is connected to a special event in history? But, yes, indeed.
That word is directly connected to a retired British army captain Charles Cunningham Boycott. In 1880, when he was an estate manager in Ireland, he drew on himself many complaints from his employees by refusing to increase their salaries. They felt so offended that they simply stopped to talk to him – and this was the first notion of boycott in the history.
Another word that is firmly associated with the certain event in history is the word “raglan”. Have you ever heard of it? If you are into fashion, you probably have!
Raglan is style of overcoat with special sleeves. It was created due to the English field marshal Fitzroy Raglan. During the famous battle of Waterloo the Secretary-Chief of the British troops, Raglan was seriously wounded in his arm. His hand was subsequently amputated. For fencing or shooting Raglan was able to use only one hand. However, as Raglan did not want to look in the eyes of others as handicapped, he asked the tailors to sew a special overcoat – with a free armhole, and pelerine sleeve. This style suddenly became a fashion and is still called a raglan.
Now, you see that the words don’t just appear without any reason! Learn history to learn the world surrounding you!