This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Spot the Frippet: booty.

If two words look the same, and sound the same, then by golly they...

...might not have much to do with each other at all.

Booty is like that. Its two meanings, treasure (especially when not paid for, or got cheaply) and buttocks are two quite different words with different origins.

Having said that, the fact that they do sound the same and look the same has led to some cross-pollination of meaning, and so they aren't quite as distinct as the dictionaries would have us believe. Booty is always something to be admired and valued, whatever you're talking about.

This is an easy spot. If you want to spot some of the treasure-type booty then all you have to do is give way to the nagging and buy a child some sweets (there has to be some effort involved in acquiring booty, even if it's only whining).

If you want to acquire some booty yourself then burglary is the obvious option (but not recommended). Visiting the Sales or collecting berries is safer, as well as much more respectable.

File:Treasure chest inside bergdorf castle.JPG
Treasure chest, Bergdorf Castle. Photo by Gunasekar

Spot the Frippet: booty. The treasure-word comes from the Old French butin, from Middle Low German buite, exchange, related to the Old Norse býti, barter. The other booty comes from butt.

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