Friday, 4 December 2015
It's Friday word time again! My, how the weeks fly. Today it's frexting and for our unexpected etymology segment, we're into berries.
Frexting: friends + sexting. Sending a provocative-y selfie not for flirtatious reasons, but to a friend. Based on my understanding from where I saw this—a piece on Medium—this is something that occurs primarily (exclusively?) between women. As the author Alana Levinson says, "The picture would probably be the same if meant for a guy, but the subtext is completely different." It's worth reading the piece for some insight into the sociology. Having posted the word, I'll leave it at that.
This week's etymological surprise is boysenberry. A blueberry is blue; a blackberry is black. What the heck is a boysen? Turns out it's not a thing, it's a dude. Specifically, it's Rudolph Boysen, who bred (invented? can you do that?) the boysenberry by crossing the raspberry, the blackberry, and the loganberry in the 1930s. Fun fact: the boysenberry was made popular by Knott of Knott's Berry Farm, the one-time berry farm, then jam company and also (oddly) amusement park. And since you might ask, sure enough, the loganberry is named for someone, too, namely James Logan. As for raspberry, it's not an eponym and in fact, it's not entirely clear where rasp- came from, although the name of the berry is attested at least as far back as the 16th century.
Friday words, language