Wade Davis, Ph.D: It’s the canary in the coal mine, a concrete and extremely disturbing indicator of what is happening to cultures in general. And, of course, a language is not merely a body of vocabulary or a set of grammatical rules. It is a flash of the human spirit, the means by which the soul of each particular culture reaches into the material world. Every language is an old growth forest of the mind, a watershed of thought, an entire ecosystem of spiritual possibilities.
There are those of course who quite innocently ask, “Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all spoke the same language? Wouldn’t it be easier for us to get along?” My answer is always to say, “Terrific idea. Let’s make that universal language Yoruba, or Lakota, or Cantonese.” Suddenly people get a sense of what it would mean to be unable to speak your mother tongue. I cannot imagine a world in which I could not speak English, for not only is it a beautiful language, it’s my language, the expression of whom I am. But at the same time I don’t want it to sweep away the other voices, the other languages of the world, like some kind of cultural nerve gas.
The word glamour was first documented in the early 1700s. It comes from the Scottish gramarye, which meant ‘magic, enchantment, spell,’ which was a variant of the English word grammar, meaning, well, grammar, though at the time it had the more medieval sense of ‘any sort of scholarship, especially occult learning.’ (Grammar itself came from the Old French word gramaire, which meant simply ‘learning,’ but expanded to mean ‘(magic) incantation, spells, mumbo-jumbo.’ And if you want to go even further back, you’ll find that the French word came from the Latin grammatica, which came from the Greek grammatike tekhne, which mean ‘the art of letters,’ with a sense of both philology and literature. Gramma meant ‘letter,’ from the stem graphein, meaning ‘to draw or write.’) The word glamour was popularized by the writings of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). The sense of ‘beauty, alluring charm’ was first recorded in 1840.”—Glamourous Grammar, Fun fact from Kristin Denham’s Eng 436 (via myepeolatry)
But to a knight or a medieval falconer, a bird was not a pet — it was a free-flying wild animal quite capable of providing for itself. This is reflected in the terminology used to describe the process of working with a hawk: A bird that is ready to hunt is described as manned, not tamed.
This is an important distinction, because in the field a knight had to understand that his hawk did not work for him, but rather worked with him. To hunt with a hawk is to establish a bond of mutual trust with a strong and aggressive comrade. The falconer who tries to establish dominance over a bird by force or intimidation is likely to see his bird flying for the horizon at the first opportunity.
In fact, working with a hawk is an exercise in humility — when recalling a hawk in the field, the falconer raises his hand high, allowing the bird to attain a position of superiority, to literally “look down” on its handler, as it flies to the falconer’s gauntlet. Only when a bird feels it has achieved such a position of supremacy will it return to the falconer in order to continue pursuing its quarry.
Most interesting of all, perhaps, is the fact that the relationship between a knight and his falcon was a fleeting one — in the Middle Ages a young bird was taken from the nest in the spring, trained and “manned” in the summer, hunted in the autumn and then, in the lean days of winter, released back into the wild. The process was repeated each year with a newly caught hawk or falcon.
“I want to live in a world where little girls are not pinkified, but where little girls who like pink are not punished for it, either. We can certainly talk about the social pressures surrounding gender roles, and the concerns that people have when they see girls and young women who appear to be forced into performances of femininity by the society around them—but let’s stop acting like they have no agency and free will. Let’s stop acting like women who choose to be feminine are somehow colluders, betraying the movement, bamboozled into thinking that they want to be feminine.”—"get your antifemininity out of my feminism," s.e. smith (x)
Harlot There is a rather fanciful story that this word, meaning a prostitute, comes from Arlette, a tanner’s daughter from Falaise, who was surprised naked whilst washing her clothes by Robert I, Duke of Normandy (d. 1035). The result was William the Bastard (1027-87), better known as William the Conqueror. However, a more likely derivation is from a combination of two Old German words, Hari meaning army and Lot, a loiterer. The word harlot itself appears in Middle English as a general word for ruffian or vagabond of either sex.
From: Batty, Bloomers and Boycott: A Little Etymology of Eponymous Words by Rosie Boycott