Friday, August 8, 2014

The War of the Words

woman screaming
Source: Check this one out!

In 1951, a new word came into being and later was added to the dictionary:  Eek, which means “an expression of surprise”.  Why this word was worthy to be added makes no sense, no sense at all.

But what about this one: Eke?

Is it real?  What the heck does it mean?  Was it a 1951 wonder?

Actually, this is an ancient word.  From around 900 AD, “eke” came into being from a combination of languages. 

Germanic and Norse contributed auka.  Latin added the word augēr.  Old English mixed those into ēacian.  Finally Middle English created eek.

All the words in their different languages mean “to manage to support oneself, but barely.”  It also means “to enlarge, to increase, and to stretch resources.”

As long as humans have existed, all have been trying to eke out a living.  They were trying to stretch what they had just a little bit farther.  If they had not done so, surviving became a serious issue.

Eek wisely became EKE.  After all, who had ever heard of EEK?

Oddly enough, I have been trying to eke all my life, and I never knew it.  


26 comments:

  1. When I think of the word 'eek', I think of finding a mouse in my house, which is not as bad as the word I would use if I found a rat.

    'Eke' is what we go through everyday, some better than others.

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    1. Usually I do a little dance while I say "AAAHHHH!"

      I think "Eke" is what many of us do.

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  2. Eek makes me think of a mouse as well...

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    Replies
    1. ...what do you do when you see a mouse?

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  3. Ekeing a living out of the land has been ongoing for hundreds of years.

    I also EEK when something surprises me. I guess I will have to change that.

    Very informative and fun.

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    1. It will be difficult to change from "eek" to something else.

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  4. We're all pretty good 'ekers' I guess...at least...those of us who have reached a 'certain' age....eek!

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    1. 'Certain age' people understand making do, trying to stretch money...

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  5. I wish my eking would pay off more haha

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    1. You are young yet; maybe in a few years?

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  6. My family used that word when I was growing up. :)

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    1. My family did as well. I pretty much knew the meaning, but looking it up confirmed it: we eked a lot.

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  7. And when in spite of all best efforts to eke out a living, you still can't afford get ahead ... that's when you scream the other spelling of the word.

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  8. Eke out a living... it never occurred to me that the word should be spelled that way. I am enlightened. Thank you!

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    1. Glad to expand your education. When seeing the EEK in some silly thing, it inspired me to see where it originated.

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  9. Eke (the word AND the concept) have been a part of my life for a looooong time. And I had never realised where it came from - thank you. Words are such a treasure trove.
    (And I use eke much more often than eek.)

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    1. Same here. We been stretching a dime forever. It has not grown in size, but we still eke.

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  10. Model in the photo is looking upward, perhaps at a very tall mouse. I too would utter a major "EEK!" It is the only appropriate word for the occasion.

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    1. I guessed it might be a monster spider since the photo dates from that period when cheap effects and b/w were the B movies.

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  11. We are managing to eke out our existence, but just barely. Or Bearly. Hope your situation improves.

    Blessings and Bear hugs to you; best regards to the cat, who would probably say "Eek" at the thought of being hugged by a Bear.

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  12. Replies
    1. Words always catch my attention, and their source.

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  13. I'm surprised you didn't know EKE. I've known it all my life.

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  14. I've never been an eeker, but I've done my share of eking.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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    1. eeking seems to be more of a female thing, as all the possible photos showed females eeking to advertise movies.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!