Friday, December 12, 2008

Random Word Facts

Am I the only one who discovers a word or phrase and loves it?  Instead of annoying only close friends and family, I now get to annoy the blogosphere as well.

Today's installment?

Short shrift.

I must say, I thought it was "short shift," as in the manager doesn't like you and schedules you, say, 30 hours a week instead of the full 40.  Kind of similar to the actual meaning of "curt dismissal."

Please don't laugh.

So, the archaic definition of "shrift" was (according to my awesome dictionary widget- bless you, Apple!) the penance imposed by a priest after confession.  The archaic expression of "short shrift" meant a short time between a judge's condemnation and punishment.  

There you have it!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I love random word facts! I was a spelling bee kid, and still love to watch it on tv. I'll yell out, "ask for the etymology!" and Matt looks at me like I'm insane.

I recently learned that it's "toe the line", not "tow the line." I thought it had to do with ships or pulling your weight, but it's a military term. If I remember correctly it's about not falling out of step with the others.