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Word Derivative


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This is a very old word with a much more modern meaning. It comes from the Old English godsibb, meaning a godparent or baptismal sponsor. It comes from god + sib (meaning blood relation as in sibling). It dates to at least 1014.


Bizarre was borrowed into English from French meaning handsome or brave, which in turn took the word from the Italian bizarro, meaning angry. When it jumped the channel, it shifted radically in meaning to its current sense. It first appeared in English in 1648.

There is a commonly touted etymology for bizarre, however, that claims the word is originally from the Basque bizar, meaning beard. This explanation has been around since at least 1607, before the word existed in English


The adjective blue has been associated with despondency and sadness since the 16th century. The noun the blues has been with us since 1741. The blues is a shortening of blue devils, demons popularly thought to cause depression and sadness. Blue devils have been around since 1616.


Buck, the slang term for a dollar, is a clipped form of buckskin. On the American frontier, buckskins were often used as units of commerce. The term buck, meaning a unit of value, dates to at least 1748.

(Not Birdman)

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