This morning early, I walked into the kitchen and said to my wife The Professor, “Did you ever notice that the hose you wear are about the same shape as the hose that water goes through? They come from the same Dutch word that meant both stocking and water hose.”
She just laughed at me. I was barely awake–hadn’t even had my tea yet, which is typically a major indicator of whether I’m coherent or not. Yet I had managed to start the day with this random and esoteric etymological tidbit.
After 12 years, The Prof is accustomed to my nearly constant musings about words: I wonder what the origin of this one is, I’ll ask. Did you know that one was an archaic plural that survived with a special meaning?, I mention offhandedly. Oddly, the Slovak word for such-and-such is almost the same as the Spanish, I share. And so forth. Honestly, it never stops.
In my mind, my comment about hose wasn’t random at all. I had been putting on my shoes, and remembered the word “leather” is the “leder” in “lederhosen.” Then I thought about the “hosen” part. “Does it just mean pants?”, I wondered. “And..hmm..I wonder how it’s related to our English word hose?” As usual, my smartphone (with dictionary app installed) was at hand, and lickety split, I had an etymology for hose–and there I discovered the Dutch word that I mentioned in the kitchen.
The Professor has been telling me for awhile that I should write a word about blogs. I mean, a blog about words. Off I go.
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