Nearly through our Mock Latin series! I just have one more week of them after this one. 😉
Today we begin with a word I have used all the time, never realizing it was one of these “fake” constructions!
Discombobulate – So obviously this is a fun word, which is why I use it all the time. But I didn’t realize it was made up to sound Latin! This word dates from 1834 and means “to upset or embarrass. The original form was actual discombobricate, which I didn’t know.
Confusticate – this one is not only mock-Latin, it’s also meant to mock the people saying it, which could open a whole other can of worms. Meant to imitate confound or confuse, this word first appeared in 1852 in a passage of a book as “Negro dialect.” I do find it interesting that this one was meant to make fun by implying that the speaker thought it was a real, intelligent word, while it’s in the pattern of so many other mock-Latin words that were funny because everyone knew they were fanciful and fabricated. Just goes to show how intent matters…
Come back next week for the final installment!