Language evolves; it’s a living entity.
As example, in the 1700s, what was a “butt-plate?”
If you thought it to be the 18th century version of shape wear or something on which you placed your “pratts” (buttocks), you’d be completely wrong. Rather, it was the metal plate at the “butt end” of a musket, used to protect the wood and possibly make the butt a better weapon unto itself.
Moving into the late 1800s, “seven miles behind the moon,” had nothing to do with astronomy. Rather, it was a way of saying someone was “crazy,” or “out there.”
We needn’t look too far into the past to see this evolution.
In our lifetimes alone, the use of words has drastically changed. I’m probably the only person on the planet who still uses the term “righteously bitchen.” Yet when I was a teen, that manifestation was about as common as platform shoes and aviator glasses. Now it’s heard as often as we see pet rocks.
This year, the latest additions to Webster’s dictionary included “crowdfunding,” “selfie,” and “fracking;” three terms that would have made its users seem seven miles behind the moon in the very recent past. [Read more…]