It’s October! So I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the words you’re going to be encountering in this season. Whether you celebrate Halloween or just the harvest (or nothing at all), I think you’ll agree that the etymologies this month are interesting!
Today we’re taking a look at spooky . . . which means really, we’re taking a look at spook, since that’s what it’s a form of. Spook dates from 1801 and is taken from the Germanic. The fun thing is that pretty much all Germanic languages have a work very similar to spook, but the meanings include not only the primary “ghost,” but also, “scarecrow” and “joke.”
In 1942 it began to be applied to spies–presumably because of their abilities to appear and vanish again.