Jul 13, 2009

WORD OF THE WEEK: A Beautiful Noun

Here is one of my favorite nouns: credenza. It's beautiful! But, my, what a dark history it has. Here is its etymology, according to Merriam-Webster online and Wikipedia:

Credenza: from the Italian "credenza"; literally, "belief" or "confidence"; from the Medieval Latin "credentia"; anecdotally, the 16th century act of credenza was "the tasting of food or drinks by a servant for a lord or important person (like popes and cardinals). With this taste they [ascertained] the food was not poisoned. The name then passed to the room where the act took place, then to the furniture."

Today, a credenza is most commonly known as a sideboard used in a dining room or restaurant for serving food buffet style and/or storing dishes for food service. It's also "a modern desk form usually placed next to a wall as a secondary work surface to that of another desk ... in a typical executive office." The desk version of a credenza can also be used to store books, files or other work items.

From potentially-poisoned food-tasting to housing the boss's stationery, the credenza has come a long way in the last 500-some years, although the word's spelling and sound primarily remain the same. What's your favorite noun? And do you know its history?

(c) KiKi Productions, Inc. 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment

Speak YOUR TRUTH now!