In which are explored the matrices of text, textile, and exile through metaphor, networks, poetics, etymologies, etc., with an occasional subplot relating these elements to Iggy and the Stooges.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

etymologophilia

tantra
type of Hindu religious book, 1799, from Skt. tantram, lit. "loom, warp," hence "groundwork, system, doctrine," from tan "to stretch, extend," from PIE base *ten- "to stretch, extend" (see tenet).
tantric
1905, from tantra + -ic; used loosely in the West to denote erotic spiritualism.

sutra
"series of aphorisms," 1801, from Skt. sutram "rule," lit. "string, thread" (as a measure of straightness), from sivyati "sew;" cognate with L. suere "to sew" (see sew). Applied to rules of grammar, law, philosophy, etc., along with their commentaries.

As in suture.

thread (n.)
O.E. þræd "fine cord, especially when twisted" (related to þrawan "to twist"), from P.Gmc. *thrædus (cf. M.Du. draet, Du. draad, O.H.G. drat, Ger. Draht, O.N. þraðr), from suffixed form of base *thræ- "twist" (see throw). Meaning "spiral ridge of a screw" is from 1670s. The verb meaning "to put thread through a needle" is recorded from mid-14c.; in reference to film cameras from 1913. The dancing move called thread the needle is attested from 1844. Threads, slang for "clothes" is 1926, Amer.Eng.

spinner
early 13c., "spider," agent noun from spin. Meaning "person who spins textile thread" is from late 14c.

purl (v.)
"knit with inverted stitches," 1825; earlier "to embroider with gold or silver thread" (1520s), from M.E. pirlyng "revolving, twisting," of unknown origin. The two senses usually are taken as one word, but this is not certain.

clue
1590s, phonetic variant of clew "a ball of thread or yarn," with reference to the one Theseus used as a guide out of the Labyrinth. The purely figurative sense of "that which points the way" is from 1620s. The verb meaning "to inform someone of the important facts" is attested by 1934.

mitosis
1887, coined from Gk. mitos "warp thread" (see mitre) + Mod.L. -osis "act, process." Term introduced by German anatomist Walther Fleming (1843-1905) in 1882. So called because chromatin of the cell nucleus appears as long threads in the first stages.

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