Tag Archives: Etymology


niː knee: The joint between the thigh and lower leg; an object or structure which resembles this joint I’ve got to say, on this “taking a knee” thing—I don’t know, maybe it’s got a broader history but it seems to be taken from The Game of Thrones—feels to me like a symbol of subjugation and … Continue reading Knee


ˈaɪsəleɪtɪd Isolated: placed or standing apart or alone; detached or separate from other things or persons; unconnected with anything else; solitary To protect others, you must stay at home if you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is called self-isolation. UK National Health Service, Self-Isolation Advice (2020) During the Current … Continue reading Isolated


kɒˈrəʊnə Corona: a circular structure, or spiked circular structure, surrounding a central core Corona is the Latin word for a crown. And, after passing through French, it’s the origin of our word crown. In its original form, it’s used to designate all sorts of crown-like structures. The spiky protrusions from the capsule of the coronavirus … Continue reading Corona


prɒrəʊˈɡeɪʃən prorogation: the act of discontinuing the meetings of an assembly without dissolving it For present purposes, the relevant limit on the power to prorogue is this: that a decision to prorogue (or advise the monarch to prorogue) will be unlawful if the prorogation has the effect of frustrating or preventing, without reasonable justification, the … Continue reading Prorogation


ɡɔːdiːˈeɪməs gaudeamus: merry-making by college students   Turn on the spigot Pour the beer and swig it And gaudeamus igit- (uh) -tur Tom Lehrer “Bright College Days” (1959)* Gaudeamus is the first-person plural present active subjunctive of the Latin verb gaudeo, “to rejoice”—so it means “let us rejoice”. It’s the first word of a thirteenth-century … Continue reading Gaudeamus