22 December 2008
The Etymology of 'Concussed'
There was a story in the Boston Globe today about a Boston Bruin who was 'concussed' late last week, which makes people of all etymological backgrounds wonder, "What exactly does it mean to be concussed?" If you have a linguistic background, you are probably thinking it means with cuss words from the spanish con meaning 'with' and cuss meaning 'cuss.' If you have a background in marine biology slash Native American heritage, you likely saw it as meaning Conch shells with us, from the aquatic vernacular, conch shell, a type of shell found in the ocean, and us, refering to you and me. If you are a Bostonian you likely assumed I actually said "Corn Cursed" and you are scratching your head wondering what exaclty a corn curse is, and how one is hexed with a corn curse. If you were trained in the field of logos (not to be confused with Legos, of which I am a big fan, but of which I am not refering to here) then you probably saw concussed and thought of bad swear words, a double negative referring to happy, flowery words. If you have a background in Hockey, well, then you probably know exactly what it means, having experienced it firsthand. Well time to be revealing, 'concussed' means you got a concussion.