Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm the urban spaceman, baby!

Given all the recent blather about "erasures," I thought I'd mention that believe it or not, the word spaceman originally meant "writer" - you know, someone who actually goes to the trouble of filling up space! (The sense we have for the word today only goes back to about 1933.) Well, here are a few more curious terms for you scribblers out there:


Surely some of these can be revived! To learn the stories behind them, click on this OUP blog post from Mark Peters, the genius behind the blog Wordlustitude and Contributing Editor for Verbatim: The Language Quarterly, not to mention language columnist for Good, and the author of Yada, Yada, Doh!: 111 TV Words That Made the Leap from the Screen to Society.

And may no learned or unlearned calf write against your knowledge and wit, and no brother paper-stainer pilfer your pages, and then call you a general thief!


Ms Baroque said...

Hey! Don. What should you do when you see a space man?

Ms Baroque said...


(Well, here it is: Park in it man)

Don Share said...

That's an excellent joke!!! And here I spent all this time trying to figure out what I'd do if I saw one... (I was about to answer: cross to the other side.)