What's in a Word | All Blogs


Built-in umbrellas

By Debra Dobbins

On a trip a few years ago to Valley of Fire, a Nevada state park about 60 miles from Las Vegas, I was quite amused by the antics of the antelope ground squirrels romping close to the park's visitor center.

Seemingly in constant motion, they appeared oblivious to the sun's intense rays as they darted from one shrub to another or briskly dug holes.

These squirrels are known for their bushy white tails, which they bring up over their backs to serve as built-in umbrellas against the sun.

It was not much of a surprise, then, to learn the origin of “squirrel” this morning. According to Webster's, it came into Middle English from an Old French word that went back to a Latin word that was borrowed from the Greeks' skiouros. That word came from two Greek words: skia, meaning shadow, and oura, meaning tail.

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.




Recent Posts
Organic Penny Pinching
By Julie Norman
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Got kale? Have I got a great salad for you!
By Penny Stine
Monday, September 22, 2014

More purple, please
By Penny Stine
Friday, September 19, 2014

Stunt Albums Prove There’s Dying Interest in New Music
By David Goe
Friday, September 19, 2014

How soon can you retire?
By Julie Norman
Thursday, September 18, 2014


TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Sign in to your account
Information

© 2014 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy