Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Yesterday I was going through the Know Your English coloumn in The Hindu. I noticed this interesting word "derring-do".

Read here more about it:

As children, when we misspelt a word, our teachers circled it, and made us rewrite it several times. Hoping that we would learn the correct spelling! When printers make an error in spelling, it sometimes results in the creation of a new word. Derring-do is one such example. The original expression as used by Chaucer was `dorrying don' meaning `daring to do'. Through a series of copying and printing errors, it became `derring-do'.

Read the actual story here:

What is interesting to note is that a word can undergo such a change because of a printing mistake and thus getting accepted !


Vidhya said...

I am happy that it was still derryngue and not deringue. else it would have lost track to meringue. Does that show power of writers?

Balu said...

Guess most of the words get coined actually like that. You should read "All about words" by Rosenblum.

There he explains words that initially had negative connotation and now have morphed to be known in a positive sense. Example the words "Dude" ! It comes from the word "dud".

Vidhya said...

:-) no wonder the connection can be made, even now.