Wild Word Friday!
Hmmm. CURMUDGEON. This word is a mystery. I’m not referring to it’s meaning, which is, of course, someone who is totally disagreeable, grumpy and not at all fun to be with. The mystery lies with its historical roots. Where in the heck did this word come from? Some folks believe it is Scottish in origin, from a word that means grumble or mumble or murmur. In 1755, the writer Dr. Samuel Johnson, perhaps himself a CURMUDGEON, suggested the word comes from the French, coeur mechant, which means something along the line of evil heart. That may well be, except to me a CURMUDGEON seems not so much an evil person but one who is in a constant bad mood.
So I’ve come to the conclusion that this word is one of those onomonopiac utterances, words named for what they sound like. I mean, doesn’t the word CURMUDGEON sound exactly like somebody who is grumpy and crotchety and generally miserable? Maybe some poor Scots wife, fed up with her husband’s miserable ways, said, “Ach, MacGregor, thou art truly a CURMUDGEON on this day. Dinnae fash me so! I need a wee bit of peace and quiet!” Which is why MacGregor went out and invented golf.
Q4U: Who is your favorite CURMUDGEON? I think mine is Mark Twain.