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Historical Origins of English Words and Phrases

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curmudgeon [Dec. 16th, 2009|02:17 pm]
Historical Origins of English Words and Phrases

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[gwoman]
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curmudgeon, n. [ker-muhj-uhn, kər-mŭj-ən]
-Such a lively word, rich with meaning and imagery! Unfortunately, scholars have absolutely no idea where curmudgeon comes from, though there are a few theories. As the definition is 'a cantankerous, ill-tempered, and difficult person,' some scholars think that the cur- in curmudgeon might refer to English cur 'a mongrel dog' because this has come to be used as derogatory slang for a person. An older theory claims that curmudgeon might be the poor English translation of French coeur mechant 'evil heart,' but this opinion has fallen out of favor.



The infamous duo of curmudgeons from The Muppet Show
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: serai1
2009-12-16 10:56 pm (UTC)
Heh, I've always loved this word. Had it leveled at me a time or two, and proud of it!

By the way, the two in that picture are Statler and Waldorf, named for two of the most famous hotels in New York City. ;)
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[User Picture]From: gwoman
2009-12-17 10:19 pm (UTC)
aha! thank you for supplying their names :) as much as i watched it, i don't think i ever knew their names.
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[User Picture]From: laurainlimbo
2009-12-17 03:00 am (UTC)
this has always been one of my favorite words, and I know quite a few of them myself (my uncle comes to mind)... and those two from The Muppet Show were awesome!

thanks for posting this:)
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[User Picture]From: gwoman
2009-12-17 10:19 pm (UTC)
your icon is *perfect*!
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[User Picture]From: gwoman
2009-12-17 10:20 pm (UTC)
or some of us may be curmudgeons ourselves, no? heehee ;)
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[User Picture]From: prettygoodword
2009-12-17 02:33 pm (UTC)
Do we at least have a clue how long it's been in use?

---L.
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[User Picture]From: gwoman
2009-12-17 10:20 pm (UTC)
not even one of the references i found gave any type of date or time line. sorry :(
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