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
SOLITARY FOR THANKSGIVING
By Nic.Korte
Friday, November 25, 2016

Cut the Chord - AI Headphones Are Hear
By David Goe
Friday, November 11, 2016

EXOTICA II
By Nic.Korte
Thursday, November 10, 2016

Motown: Yesterday, Today, and Forever
By David Goe
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

WHY BIRDERS FLOCK TO COLORADO: PART 2
By Nic.Korte
Friday, October 28, 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