April 20, 2013
eddy (noun)
\ED-ee\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a current of air or water running against the main current or in a circle
How do you use it?
"All the manuals I had read were very emphatic about where fish lived, and so I had memorized this: ‘In streams . . . small rapids, the tail of a pool, eddies below rocks or logs, deep undercut banks, in the shade of overhanging bushes—all are very likely places to fish.'" (Jean Craighead George, _My Side of the Mountain_)
Are you a word wiz?

"Eddy" has been part of the English language for more than 500 years, so it may not be surprising to learn that language scientists aren't sure where it came from. Which of the following languages do you think is probably the one "eddy" came from?

People who study language trace "eddy" back to the Middle English word "ydy," but they think that "eddy" probably comes from an even older Old Norse word, "itha." Old Norse is a language that is related to a few modern-day languages such as German and English but that was spoken in what is now Denmark, Norway, and Sweden before about 1350. No one speaks Old Norse anymore, but traces of Old Norse can be found in hundreds of English words, including such common words as "anger," "birth," "crawl," "kettle," "root," and "window."
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