I’m back! All settled in (mostly) at the new house, with internet up and running–if you heard the “Hallelujah Chorus” ringing through the air last night, that was just me when my angel of a husband got it all set up. 😉

My search for a word of the week started with the last one I posted, “cool.” I kept scrolling down through the listings at www.etymonline.com, and soon I learned something!

Cucumber is from the Latin cucumerem, and may even predate Latin, believe it or not–this is one ancient veggie! 😉 In the 17th and 18th centuries, English speakers often spelled it cowcumber, and that pronunciation apparently lingered well into the 19th century, though the spelling had, by then, changed.

But of course, what convinced me that this vegetable is worthy of a Word of the Week is the phrase “cool as a cucumber.” That idiom came about around 1732. Ever wonder why? Well apparently folk knowledge said that cucumber fields were cooler than the air around them. Which would earn nothing but an “interesting…okay” except that in the 1970s scientists thought to question this old phrase. And what did they learn? That, indeed, the temperature in a cucumber patch is 20 degrees below the surrounding areas!

I had no idea. Honestly, I didn’t even know where the phrase came from. Pretty neat, eh? 


For an upcoming article in the ACFW Journal, a friend of mine is running a survey at The Character Therapist on whether writers feel supported or unsupported by their spouses. The survey will be live at 6 a.m. CST today and will remain up for a month. If you’re a writer (with a spouse, I suppose, LOL), do go take the survey, and pass along the link to your writing friends! 


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