or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


The Project Rungay gents (they started a blog about the irresistible reality show Project Runway) eventually created another blog, which was meant to be about this and that and everything except Project Runway, but eventually turned into a blog mostly about Shear Genius, which I ended up watching (because they were deriving so much pleasure from it and making it sound like so much fun) and enjoying (because it was fun).

Two of the biggest personalities on Shear Genius, Tyson and Tabatha, didn't get along, to put it mildly (or, more accurately, she hated him with an irrational, spitting passion and he didn't really seem to care one way or the other), and now they're having a hairstyle-off. Can't say I care, but look at the sixth comment on that web page.

Instead of "darlings", someone wrote "dearlings", and I immediately thought, "Well, '-ling' is a pretty common Norse suffix denoting a creature of some sort ('Earthling' 'hireling', 'duckling', and so forth), so could 'darling' in fact be a variation on 'dearling'?"

Indeed it could! Imagine my delight when I discovered this.

The suffix "-ling" is often used as a diminutive, as in "fledgling", and "darling" is, in fact, a diminutive form of "dear". (I don't know why this never occurred to me before, but on reflection there are a lot of things that have never occurred to me that will, sooner or later, giving me a reason to blog and a reason to live.)

Both "dear" and "darling" have been a part of English for probably as long as English has been English: the OED dates them from before 900 A.D. How nice to know that some things never change. Except the spelling, that is: "dear" started off as "deore" and turned into "dere" in Middle English before eventually assuming is modern spelling, and "darling" was likewise "deorling" and then "derling".


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