What's in a Word | All Blogs


An acute, cute cat

By Debra Dobbins

Garfield might feel better about being called cute if he knew that the word is an abbreviated form of “acute,” which meant being mentally sharp nearly 300 years ago.

“Cute is a good example of how a shortened form of a word can take on a life of its own, developing a sense that dissociates it from the longer word from which it was derived,” The Free Dictionary* notes. “Cute was originally a shortened form of acute in the sense ‘keenly perceptive or discerning, shrewd.’ In this sense cute is first recorded in a dictionary published in 1731. Probably cute came to be used as a term of approbation for things demonstrating acuteness, and so it went on to develop its own sense of ‘pretty, fetching,’ first recorded with reference to ‘gals’ in 1838.”

*www.thefreedictionary.com/cutely

Illustration special to the Sentinel
 

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.




Recent Posts
Harvesting roots
By Penny Stine
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

MIGRATION ROCKS! (TRUTH IN ADVERTISING!)
By Nic.Korte
Monday, August 22, 2016

It’s Bronco Country’s Party and We’re Just Lucky To Be Invited
By David Goe
Friday, August 19, 2016

Tiny tomatoes offer a colorful twist
By Penny Stine
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Locals Rally Around Zolopht
By David Goe
Friday, August 12, 2016


TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Advertiser Tearsheet
Information

© 2016 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy