Word History: OK is a quintessentially American term that has spread from English to many other languages. Its origin was the subject of scholarly debate for many years until Allen Walker Read showed that OK is based on a joke of sorts. OK is first recorded in 1839 but was probably in circulation before that date. During the 1830s there was a humoristic fashion in Boston newspapers to reduce a phrase to initials and supply an explanation in parentheses. Sometimes the abbreviations were misspelled to add to the humor. OK was used in March 1839 as an abbreviation for all correct, the joke being that neither the O nor the K was correct. Originally spelled with periods, this term outlived most similar abbreviations owing to its use in President Martin Van Buren's 1840 campaign for reelection. Because he was born in Kinderhook, New York, Van Buren was nicknamed Old Kinderhook, and the abbreviation proved eminently suitable for political slogans. That same year, an editorial referring to the receipt of a pin with the slogan O.K. had this comment: "frightful letters ... significant of the birth-place of Martin Van Buren, old Kinderhook, as also the rallying word of the Democracy of the late election, 'all correct' .... Those who wear them should bear in mind that it will require their most strenuous exertions ... to make all things O.K."
derives from Greek boukolikos , "rustic; pastoral," from boukolos, "a cowherd; a herdsman" from bous, "a cow; an ox." And also from the Indo-European gwou, the Latin root is bos which we get bovine from.
Means 'powerful' in French, right? Doesn't look or sound powerful to me. It looks like the least powerful word I can think of, except maybe 'pantuflas' (the Spanish word for 'slippers'). It looks more like 'piss-ant' than anything, and we all know those aren't powerful.
I always assumed it meant something like 'to bow one's head' or 'to submit to someone else's head-ship', but it comes from 'to draw up terms or chapters' and 'chapters' comes from 'head' (like the heads of sections).
literally means 'without cure (of souls)' in Latin, like you find in 'curate'. Refers to those positions in the church where someone didn't actually have a parish or didn't go. Remember your history about absentee priests?
Sub rosa comes from the Latin, literally "under the rose," from the ancient association of the rose with confidentiality, the origin of which traces to a famous story in which Cupid gave Harpocrates, the god of silence, a rose to bribe him not to betray the confidence of Venus. Hence the ceilings of Roman banquet-rooms were decorated with roses to remind guests that what was spoken 'sub vino' (under the influence of wine) was also sub rosa.
*awesome* etymology: from Italian incarnatino, which came from the Latin incarnato, something incarnate, made flesh, from in + caro, carn-, "flesh." It is related to carnation, etymologically the flesh-colored flower; incarnate, "in the flesh; made flesh"; and carnal, "pertaining to the body or its appetites."
i most associate apotheosis with the painting in the US Capitol Building: The Apotheosis of George Washington. when i first saw it i was like 'what the heck?!' i like George and all, but he never became a god in *my* world ;-)
the thing i love about avuncular is its origin in Indo-European pre-history and the probable cultural milieu: the importance of the maternal uncle/grandfather in bringing up a boy in a paternal society.