Word Wednesday – Ruminate

UnfortunateEnglishFor our Word Wednesday feature today let’s return to the book Unfortunate English: The Gloomy Truth Behind the Words You Use (Bill Brohaugh, Writer’s Digest, 2006 –See this post for our last one from this book.). This next section is about “words of the birds and the beasts” and titled “I am not an animal! I am an etymologist!” And yes, it is filled with lots of fun associations between words origins and animals.

That becomes clear when we consider the word “ruminate”, the sixth entry in this category. I liked this one also because it has ties to books and bookstores. Read on – and learn all about how to ruminate! Just don’t forget to buy too. 🙂

Let’s ruminate on cows chewing their cud.

In other words, ruminate on rumination.

The first stomach of a ruminant animal (that is, an animal that chews its cud) is a ‘rumen’. ‘Rumen’ is a Latin word that led to Latin ‘ruminari’, which in turn led to the English word ‘ruminate’ by the early 1500s. A cud, by the way, is partially digested food that is returned from the first stomach to the animal’s mouth for further chewing.

So chew that image over in your mind and chew it again – ruminate it.

If you’re reading this in the bookstore, and have just shooed away a clerk (or are about too) by saying, ‘Just browsing,’ keep in mind that browsing in its original literal sense was (as for the cow mentioned in the item above) grazing on grasses or on the leaves of bushes and trees – something I might have to do if you continue figuratively browsing. Hey – just a hint! (While you’re browsing and ruminating, go buy ‘Eats, Shoots & Leaves” by Lynn Truss, too.), p.148

Published in: on February 4, 2015 at 6:08 AM  Leave a Comment  
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