March 26, 2016
jewel (noun)
\JOO-ul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : an ornament of precious metal often set with stones and worn as an accessory of dress2 : one that is highly valued or prized3 : a precious stone : gem4 : a bearing in a watch made of a crystal or a precious stone
How do you use it?
"Dragons steal gold and jewels, you know, from men and elves and dwarves, wherever they can find them; and they guard their plunder as long as they live (which is practically forever, unless they are killed), and never enjoy a brass ring of it." (J.R.R. Tolkien, _The Hobbit_)
Are you a word wiz?

Which word do you think comes from the same Latin root word as "jewel"?

We're not kidding when we tell you that today the answer is A, "joke." "Jewel" and "joke" both trace to the Latin root "jocus," meaning "game, joke." Speakers of Anglo-French (the French language used in Medieval England) borrowed "jocus" to make "ju" or "jue," meaning "game, play." A form of that word passed into Middle English and eventually became "jewel." English speakers formed "joke" directly from "jocus." Other "jocus" relatives include "juggle" and the word "jocular" which means "jolly, happy."
Archive RSS Feed