Friday, May 7, 2010

Etymology day-- Daisy

I've got wedding flowers on the brain, hurray for you! Today's word is daisy, etymology again from here.

dægesege, from dæges eage "day's eye," because the petals open at dawn and close at dusk. In M.L. it was solis oculus "sun's eye." Daisy-cutter first attested 1791, originally of horses that trotted with low steps; later of cricket (1889) and baseball hits that skim along the ground. Daisy-chain in the "group sex" sense is attested from 1941. Pushing up daisies "dead" is attested from 1918, but variant with the same meaning go back to 1842."

One of the things that fascinates me the most about Old English, Latin, and the Romantic/ Latin-derived languages is how we can still see their influence/ roots in today's spoken word. It's easy to see how "day's eye" became daisy.

Since I have the maturity level of a seventh grader, I find it interesting that "daisy-chain" as a sexual, er, thing, goes as far back as 1941. Shocking!


  1. I never know what I'm going to learn here from one day to the next - and I love it! Thanks, L.T.

    Have a great weekend! :-)

  2. Daisy-chain is a common term in engineering lingo -- didn't ever consider it otherwise until now... make me smile :)

  3. Shannon-- you too!

    Bane-- I always feel good when I can make someone smile. Especially about something like this.

  4. Great post! I love word etymology but I am too lazy to look things up so I will have to come here to get my fix!

  5. Lydia-- glad I could be of word service :)

  6. Very interesting! I think I fall into that too lazy to look things up category too.