Though these days the term wordmonger refers to "a writer or speaker who uses language pretentiously or carelessly," please join me in proposing a new meaning. A fishmonger appreciates and promotes fish, therefore, a wordmonger does the same for words.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Awesome


Awesome
In celebration of March 10, the International Day of Awesomeness (I kid you not), here are some etymological tidbits regarding awesomeness (or as some might say, awesomnosity).

Inspiring awe, admiration or wonder is the modern definition that motivated Kevin Lawver to instigate the International Day of Awesomeness, but awesome has not always been cool waves, stunning sunsets & killer concerts. Its root, awe, started out on the dark side.

Awe came from the Proto-Indo-European word agh-es, which grew into the Gothic word agis, fear or anguish, & its German cousin agiso, fright or terror. Awe entered Old English as ege, simply meaning fear. By the 1300s it had become aghe. Three centuries later, the gents who pulled together the King James Bible used awe to mean fear mixed with veneration, & it is those gents we can thank for awesome’s positive makeover.

Inspired by “the myth of Chuck Norris” (as opposed to the man, Chuck Norris), The International Day of Awesomeness can be celebrated by any & all of us, because “People are awesome every day, frequently don't realize it, and their feats of awesomeness are rarely recognized.”

Join in on the fun. Go out into the world & be awesome.

But before you engage in your own brand of awesomnosity, please visit the comment section, & indulge me by explaining one positive action you’ll take this week to increase the general level of awesomeness in the world.



My thanks go out to this week’s sources the OED, Wordnik,, Etymonline, & Day of Awesomeness

6 comments:

  1. An awesome post for Awesome Day. Very interesting that the word used to have a dark side. So "fear and awe" actually means "fear and fear"? Hey I used to live at Laguna Lake, so I know about redundancies...

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  2. Hi Anne,
    Redundant indeed. My pal Sioux once lived on Vista View. Life is funny. Here's wishing you a little slice of ....awesomeness.

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  3. Awesome! One of my favorite words. I'm spending the day with my grandson today. I guess being his awesome grandma will be my contribution to the world during this week of awesomeness. His little world anyway.

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  4. I contributed my own positive brand of awsomnosity to the world last night. I discovered a new charity called Vittana.org. It's similar to another of my favorite charities, Kiva, in that it involves giving microloans. But instead of helping people fund mostly business ventures, its purpose is to fund education. I'm very excited about it. I made my first loan last night to a Bolivian named Betty Mendoza Pillco. By earning a degree in business, she hopes to increase her income from $4 to $10 a day. I hope that by posting a message about Vittana and Betty on my FB page, I will help her and others will get their educational loans funded.

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  5. Hi Christine & Vickie,
    Bravo to your combined awesomenosity!The world is always a better place when there are awesome grandmas around, & how sweet to find an education-promoting Kiva. And thanks for coming by.

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  6. Hi, Mr. sseyrreP! I contribute my awesomeness every day-- by being me. :D

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