I find words fascinating. I am by no means a linguist, but I have always enjoyed learning new words and understanding how they came to be. Of particular interest are words that once were associated with a particular meaning and have evolved over time to become slang for something inflammatory.
This actually came up the other night at knitting as I was contemplating the border for my shawl. See I was looking at the stitch pattern, and I was sure I recognized it, but I didn’t want to say what I thought it was. See if you can guess why?
Traditional faggot stitches consist of one row of increases and decreases that’s repeated each row for the pattern; this Garter Stitch Faggot adds a row of knitting to bring more texture to the knitting.
Um yeah. I bet you didn’t have any trouble with that one. Curious what it looks like? The knitting photos don’t show it so clearly, but I found a sewing one that does:
Anyway, at home last night I was relating this experience to Wes. I was telling him how I don’t understand how words that mean one thing get appropriated to become totally inappropriate. He then told me what faggot originally meant. I went and looked it up this morning and guess what I found?
So what words that are you uncomfortable using, even when you are using them in the most literal defined sense?