Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

A blog about words, wordplay, and etymology, with slightly more than occasional political rants.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Pontificate: To carry on in a pompous or dogmatic fashion. Derived from pontiff, or popePontiff comes from French, for high priest, from Latin pontifex, a "supreme college of priests." Probably, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, from pons, for bridge and facere, for make. Bridge maker. 
Pons also gives us pontoon, a word for a flat-bottomed boat which shows up in French in 1676. A hundred years later, the term pontoon bridge shows up - this is a bridge, usually temporary, that floats on the surface of the water. So even though pontoon bridge is derived from pontoon boat, pontoon is derived from pons, the word for bridge. Did your head just totally explode?
Our word bridge comes from the old English brycge, meaning bridge, which seems to come from a word from one of English's ancient ancestors, bhru, meaning log, or beam
Halfway down this rabbit hole, it occurred to me to wonder if Brigid, my name, was etymologically related to bridge. It's not. But that would be cool. 

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