Monday, April 28, 2014

Why---a Word Here and a Word There


In today's story, the older siblings introduce a couple of more words with the whys of the origin of the word.


Why--- a Word Here and a Word There 

Sapna entered Sagar's room with a book in her hand. She watched Sagar.

Sagar was changing his shirt, putting on a dress shirt to go to a formal party, "I hate wearing these button- down shirts, I like t-shirts, stick your hands in and go." Sagar looked up, "What's up sis?"

Sapna said, "It's your fault."

"May fault?"

"Yeah, guy's clothes have buttons on the right and you are left handed! We have buttons on the left."

Sagar buttoned his shirt, "You are right. I remember reading about when the buttons were invented, rich ladies were dressed by helpers, the dressmakers put the buttons on the right."

"And the guys have it reversed, and a left handed gentleman like you can't handle it. You should just call out 'mayday'---help!"

Sagar smiled, "Where did you find that word?"

Sapna smiled as she sat on a chair, "Oh, not in your sea-books, but in my language book. In French, "m'aidez" means 'help me' and it sounds like 'mayday'!"

The twins walked in with their papers with drawings.

Suchi said, "Didi, I want to sign my drawing for Mom with and O and X, and Soori says, I have to spell it out, LOve and Kiss."

Soori said, "Well, Bhaiya says, don't take shortcuts, write the spellings, don't you always remind us, Bhaiya?"

Sagar said, "Well..."

Sapna said, "Guys, I think when you write a quick note, a special note to mom or dad, or your grandparents, you are allowed to write O and X."

Sagar said, "Actually when people could not read or write, when  they were illiterate, they put an X on the significant document and agreed to do whatever it said. And down the road, it became synonymous with kisses."

Suchi said, "Bhaiya, that's too much information."

Soori said, "And big words, we just want to know if it's okay to write an X for kisses?"

Sagar said, "Little sisters, I know Mom is going to love both your pictures."

Soori made a face, "Ha, she just wants to be the first one to give Mom her drawing. Look at her picture and look at mine."

Sapna said, "Okay, okay, stop arguing, Mom will love both the pictures, with an X or the spelled word. Now go and give her the pictures before you forget and get into drawing something else."

The twins smiled, rushed out of the room.

The End

© 2014, Meera Desai Shah


  1. Great series of articles on words and languages. Diya is going to be starting a project on Egypt and I am going to nudge her towards heiroglyphics.