Leaving House

July 17, 2009 · 2 comments

I love language, and, given a single idle moment following even a brief conversation, will often find myself fixating on a word that surfaced during the chat.

This week’s notable example went something like,  “Hey, nice to see you! How was your vacation?”


After “Fine, thanks,” I walked away thinking, “… ‘vacation’… ‘vacation’… vacation… hmmm…..”

I know (in fact, it’s one of the very few things I remember with certainty from university) that the root “vaca” comes from Latin, meaning “relating to cows.”

Think “vaccine,” “vaquero” (Spanish for “cowboy”) “baccalaureate,”  and “Kirstie Alley.”

Was the five-pound weight gain that noticeable? Darn.


This just in from the “Online Etymology Dictionary”:

vacation: c.1386, “freedom or release” (from some activity or occupation), from O.Fr. vacation, from L. vacationem (nom. vacatio) “leisure, a being free from duty,” from vacare “be empty, free, or at leisure” (see vain). Meaning “formal suspension of activity” (in ref. to schools, courts, etc.) is recorded from c.1456.


Okay, so no connection between “vacation” and cows, it turns out, except that  I do believe cows feel pretty much “at home,” wherever they are.


And that’s how I feel, as long as Rick is there.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

CotopoigepT June 23, 2010 at 8:05 am

Thanks for writing, I very much liked your newest post. I think you should post more frequently, you evidently have natural ability for blogging!


Tammy at The Butterfly Mind July 17, 2009 at 7:17 pm

They say home is where your heart is, so apparently Rick has your heart. This is a good thing, no? Looking forward to more frequent posts!


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