Nurse - “to nourish”

What do veggies and nurses have in common? They both are “nutritious,” according to the Latin root of nurse and nutritiois “nutri” (one who nourishes). To back up even further to PIE root times (linguists forgive the rudimentary explanation, but PIE roots are pre-Latin origins) nurse means “to give suckle to”. This is why we have both meanings of the word i.e. a nurse in a hospital and to nurse a baby.


“Does apricot mean, like, white sphere? Because that doesn’t make any sense.”

The question is almost resentful, as if language should make sense (as if it were my job, as someone who works with languages, to ensure that it does).

“It’s an Arabic word,” I say, absent-mindedly; and by that I mean it’s not about albus and coccus and such nonsense, but about some al-thing I know nothing about and could totally make sense, and the matter is therefore closed.

I am skimming through Kathryn Schulz’ article about ‘the really big one’, and the thing she describes seems as unreal as a zombie apocalypse (an earthquake that would change the geography of North America, that is; kill and displace thousands of people, and quite possibly lead to several ‘years without summer’).

“Mh. Isn’t it a mountain fruit, though?”

I nod. Earthquakes happen periodically along the Cascadia fault line; this one is 74 years overdue. We should probably start stocking up on water and protein powder, I think, and check we still have a functioning radio and batteries and -

“I know it’s not all desert - they ski in Iran and the like, but still -”

The image of a cosy little underground bunker, Hobbit-style, with tasteful charcoal drawings made by an alternate me who can actually draw, fades back into my messy desk. My better half is leaning against the doorframe, toying with an apricot kernel and staring up at the Icelandic alphabet poster on the opposite wall.

“Okay, okay. I’m looking it up. Jesus.”

“I wasn’t saying you should look it up.”


(His job: deal with people, do something with the bills, do laundry, look after the flowers, play Carry On My Wayward Son until I melt. My job: cook and bake, relocate spiders, clean, and know what the fuck is up with words and why they act the way they do.)

As it happens, I was both right and wrong, an unsettling, Schrödinger state of things that seems to happen with alarming regularity.

The English word apricot does come from Arabic (al-barquq), but the Arabic word itself comes from Bizantine Greek (brekokkia), which is a loan from Latin (praecocia). Apparently the fruit came to Rome from Armenia (“Mountains! I knew it!”), and it became a favourite of sorts because, unlike peaches, it ripened very early in the summer - hence the name Pliny gives it, which is linked to the English adjective precocious. Before Pliny went and decided how everything should be called and that became the standard for everyone, forever, in Greece apricots used to be called Armenian (armenaika), an idea that survived in the Arab world as well (medieval agronomist Ibn al-’Awwam used to called them al-mishmish, which translates as apples from Armenia).

By the time I’m done with it all - following link after link, marveling at Armenian mountains, scoffing at South Americans for their patchy knowledge of Middle-Eastern geography (apparently, half the continent calls the fruits damascos, because they’re mixing up Armenia and Syria), writing down recipes and generally enjoying myself much more than it would be strictly normal to - I find I’m alone in the room.

Which means I am perfectly free to sigh and look into the distance as I consider that we almost had a fruit called misha misha and instead no, we went with early one.

Can you imagine the puns on Supernatural, though? Dean would be eating apricot pie, like, all the time.

Cons of learning Latin:

  1. Is a dead language that no one speaks,
  2. Is very hard to learn,
  3. Provides no real world benefit,
  4. Why

Pros of learning Latin: 

  1. You get to use the word Cum academically,
  2. If demons attack youre gonna be the go-to guys,
  3. Do you really need a reason other than being able to use the word cum alot
latin words about the sea

caeruleus: a deep shade of blue used to describe the sea

aequoreus: of the sea

litoreus: of the sea-shore

flustra: the usual calm particular to the sea

transmarinus: from beyond the sea

undisonus: resounding with waves

mare: the sea

malacia: dead calm at sea

cyaneus: sea-blue



Women are taking to Twitter to turn the spotlight on what it means to be Latina in the United States. According to, #HispanicGirlsUnited started trending on Twitter last Thursday after user Joyce Santeliz added it to a tweet about how Hispanic girls are depicted in the media.

After the hashtag gained moment, more and more Latina’s joined in on the conversation to expose stereotypes and share experiences. Peep some more of our favorite tweets after the jump.

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by request: pretty latin words about stars

apotelesma: the influence that stars have over human destiny

asteriscus: a little star; an asterisk

astralis: relating to the stars

astrifer: starry; numbered with the stars

astriloquus: talking of the stars

astrologia: knowledge of the stars

constellatio: constellation

noctifer: the night-bringer; the evening star

sidereus: belonging to the stars, starry

stella: star

stellifer: star-bearing, starry

stellimicans: glittering with stars

stellatus: starred, starry

shoutout to the kids learning a new language from apps

shoutout to the kids who really have to work to learn a language

shoutout to the kids who are learning a language that isn’t very common

shoutout to the kids that learn languages from songs

shoutout to the kids who are trying to learn more than one language

shoutout to the kids that are doing the best they can to communicate with others and bring the world together

March 31st, today in history a great hispanic influence was born and another one died, Cesar Chavez and Selena Quintanilla, the media hasn’t even bothered tweeting out the names but ill be damned if I let their achievements get erased and forgotten. rest in peace you two, gracias por todo.

Some Latinx-American issues that are not discussed enough
  • A rapidly increasing number of hate crimes against Latinxs. From 2011 to 2012, the number of attacks reported increased more than threefold (x).
  • Racial profiling from law enforcement officers, which leads to a variety of other problems. Latinxs are 2.5 more likely to be issued a ticket, 1.5 times more likely to be arrested, and 20% more likely to have their vehicles searched for contraband although deputies are 85% less likely to find drugs than in vehicles driven by those of other ethnic groups (x).
  • Widespread police killings and brutality against Latinxs. Latinxs accounted for the second highest police-induced fatality rate in 2015 behind African Americans (x). These incidents become more common in heavily Latinx areas. For example, of the 23 people fatally shot in Los Angeles County from January to July 2015, 14 were Latinos (x).
  • Judicial bias has led to harsher and longer sentencing for young Latino males. Contributing to this situation, Latinx people are less likely to have the financial means for a private attorney; thus resulting in higher incarceration rates (x). A Latino male on trial has a 17% chance of serving prison time while a white male only has 6% (x).
  • Presidential candidate Donald Trump launched his campaign by denouncing Mexicans as “criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” and suggested building a wall on the US-Mexico border paid by the government of Mexico. If Mexico were not to comply, all remittances sent to the country would be blocked (x). In August 2015, two white men that identified as Trump supporters beat a 58-year-old homeless Latino man with a metal pole and then urinated on him. Trump responded by saying his supporters are “very passionate” (x).
  • Under the Barrack Obama administration, the number of deportations have grown rampantly. The US is removing immigrants at nine times the rate of 20 years ago with over 2.8 million people having been deported since Obama took office, easily making him the president with the highest number of deportations (x)(x)(x)(x). Deportation of non-criminal immigrants still accounts for the majority of all removals as well (x).
  • Medical repatriation allows hospitals to put undocumented patients, often unconscious, on flights back to their home countries. This is done to avoid the costs of keeping patients with uncertain financial means (x). Over 800 cases were found from 2006 to 2012 (x).
  • Arizona SB 1070 remains law in the state of Arizona as of 2010. The law requires aliens staying in the US longer than 30 days to register with the US government, carry documentation at all times if not be charged a misdemeanor crime, reserves the right for state law enforcement to stop or arrest suspected illegal immigrants, and imposed penalties on those sheltering, hiring or transporting illegal immigrants. These provisions were upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court and inspired a number of similar bills in other states (x)(x).
  • Arizona also banned ethnic studies in public schools. They are considered to be “un-American” (x).
  • Legislative proposals have been made to strip US-born children of immigrant parents of their birthright citizenship (x). A number of politicians have expressed support for this, including Trump (x).
  • Underrepresentation in political office at both federal and state levels (x). There are currently 28 Hispanics in the House of Representatives and 3 in the Senate despite the fact that Hispanics are the largest minority group in the US and account for an estimated 18% of the population (x).
  • Lack of representation in mainstream media. Since 2006, only five Latinx or Latinx-descendant artists have reached number one on the Hot 100 as a lead act. Latinxs are also the most underrepresented ethnic group in television, film, and even fewer exist in top media positions (x)(x).
  • Erasure of Afro-Latinxs in the media and a lack of understanding for the identity. Afro-Latinxs also face additional racism from within the Latin community (x)(x).
  • The gender wage gap affects Latina women most severely. On average, Latinas earn 55 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man makes. In some states, this ranges from 43 to 59 cents, thus making Latinas the most underpaid group in the US (x).
  • Human and sex trafficking. Hispanics account for the vast majority of labor trafficking victims in the US, with over 55% of all victims being Hispanic. Additionally, over 23% of sex trafficking victims are Hispanic (x).
  • Latinx households experience disproportionate levels of poverty and have lower household income than non-Hispanic whites. The median income for a Hispanic household is $42,491, whereas the median for a non-Hispanic white household is $60,256.  Poverty rates for Hispanics are at 24%, more than double the 10% of non-Hispanic whites. Ten percent of all Latinos live deep in poverty as well, compared to the national average of 7% (x).
  • Food insecurity.  Latinx households are more than twice as likely to be food insecure as non-Hispanic, white households. More than 1 in 4 Latinx children live in food insecure households (x).
  • Hispanics have consistently had the highest high school dropout rates by ethnic group since 1990 or before (x). A lack of financial resources, inadequate school resources, and parents’ limited knowledge of the US public school system have contributed to this (x).
  • Undocumented high-school graduates have less access to higher education. In all states, undocumented students are ineligible for financial aid from the federal government. Most states require undocumented students to pay out-of-state or international rates to attend colleges or universities in their home states, thus resulting in highly exorbitant costs and blocking many from higher education. In Georgia and other states, undocumented students are banned from enrolling in some public colleges or universities altogether (x).
  • According to a Pew Research Center, Latinx people are the 2nd most discriminated against ethnic group after African-Americans. An estimated 22% of Hispanic/Latinx workers reported experiencing workplace discrimination (x). Meanwhile, 58% of Latinx people agree that racism is a prevailing issue (x).