Tag Archives: pinky

Etymology Corner- Pinkeye

Whoa, it’s been over a year since I’ve posted here! Most of my stuff has been on hiatus and I’ve been doing other things like podcasting and not dying and you can find all of that on my newly updated about page but for now I’d like to dump a weekly article I’ve been releasing in the Facebook group for the podcast Wonderful! Wonderful! is a podcast where Griffin and Rachel McElroy talk about their favorite things. (Almost) every week I choose something they discussed and write something up on the history and origins of the word. Here’s the etymology corner for the first episode of Wonderful!

One of my favorite things is etymology, so I loved hearing Rachel talk about the spread of “no worries”. With that in mind, I’m gonna post an etymological fact every episode maybe?

Poor little Henry has pinkeye! Pinkeye is an example of a direct translation, since the Dutch term “pinck oogen” just means pink eye. BUT! This is not due to the color of conjunctivitis! The Dutch “pinck” actually means “small”. We get the color term from a tiny lil cute flower because the Dutch are all about flowers. A lot of colors are named after flowers. Since pinkeye makes the eye crusty and half closed, it all makes sense! That’s also why your smallest and usually not especially pink finger is called a pinky!

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