Once upon a time, I wrote a post about how words that end in -cula mean little. For example: molecule means little mass, and granule means little grain.  Then! Suddenly! Today I thought of another.

Dracula! Dracula is Draco + cula. What is draco? Draco means dragon. Spoiler: Draco Malfoy = Dragon Bad Faith. Learn more Harry Potter names here.

The original vampiric association with Dracula was through Vlad III, known was Vlad Tepes, Tepes meaning Impaler. Curiously, Dracula was Vlad’s family name, the patronym. The internet doesn’t tell me much more than that, which is why this post has been in my drafts folder for seven months…

(EDIT: Commenter oetpay assisted with a link below, which explains that Vlad Dracul-ea means son of (-ea) Vlad Dracul, who was associated through dragons through the family heraldic crest. So it turns out that analyzing dracula and chocula as little dragons and little chocolate is not historically accurate. But we could say Count Chocula is son of Count Chocul.)

[and then suddenly…]

{ 1 comment }

October 21, 2012

in candy,dragons,eponyms,food,insignificant linguistics mystery,latin,morphemes,Words & Origins

1. Would You Come With Me? – The Elected

2. Walk with You – Dispatch

3. Come Fly with Me – Michael Bublé

4. Is She Really Going Out With Him? – Goldfinger (cover)

5. Won’t Go Home Without You – Maroon 5

6. Come Dance with Me – Frank Sinatra

7. Life Goes On Without You – Jill Sobule


April 21, 2012

in latin,Music,Playlists,short list

Back of kooBi Front of kooBi (with duckie)

My first computer was a laptop called kooBi. It was an iBook. Its accompanying iPod was called doPi. It was great, went to Spain, and got a lot of stickers on it. Then poor kooBi aged and got tired. The disc burner stopped working, and that kind of feature is important to me, so I got a new one, a MacBook which I named McBook. Its iPod shuffle sidekick was called McPod. For graduation in 2008, I was given an iPod Touch named iToca, which is still with me. McBooks life was tragically cut short when it drowned in the summer of 2009, leading me to buy a MacBook Pro. I’m very attached to my laptops, the first 2 are living in a box in California, and I’ve taken this new one with me everywhere (Korea, Walnut Creek, Germany). But! It doesn’t have a proper name.

After 3 years of companionship, it’s still the new guy, and there’s some kind of smugness that comes with the title Pro that I do not enjoy associating myself with. So… back in 2009 I covered up the MacBook Pro label with a sticker that no one understands, because it’s in Latin. The label says Vade Mecum.

[and then suddenly…]


April 17, 2012

in Autobiographical,best post ever,career,computers,history of language,latin,sex,Words & Origins

There’s a big library on campus currently under noisy refurbishment, but this is not a list of that York Library. That would be a really long list, and I don’t think you would learn much from it. On the other hand, the books that I decided to carry across the ocean with me were chosen based on weight, relevance to the program, and proximity to my heart.

[and then suddenly…]


October 18, 2011

in Autobiographical,Books,dictionaries,latin,libraries,literature,University of York,Words & Origins

1. Patriarch – Latin – pater – father
2. Maternity – Latin – mater – mother
3. Filial – Latin – filius, filia – son, daughter
4. Fraternity – Latin – frater – brother
5. Sorority – Latin – soror – sister
6. Nepotism – Latin – nepos, nepotem – grandson, nephew
7. Avuncular – Latin – avunculus (little grandfather) – uncle
8. Puerile – Latin – puer – boy
9. Juvenile – Latin – juvenis – youth, young person
10. Virulent – Latin – vir – man, husband
11. Uxorious – Latin – uxor – wife

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August 25, 2011

in Etymology,latin,Words & Origins

Boarding a flight from PDX to SJC, I sat in the window seat, waiting for the plane to fill. A man buckled in and settled into the aisle seat and then I realized- I was missing something important. I felt terrible, but asked the man to let me get by. I opened the overhead compartment, unzipped my backpack, and grabbed one little green thing. I closed everything up, swung back into my row, and felt relieved. What the man thought, I’ll never know. What I grabbed was Failte.

[and then suddenly…]


July 29, 2011

in best post ever,career,China,countries,europe,france,gaelic,korea,latin,Panda,pandas,travel

The University of York Coat of Arms

Most likely, the title of this post means nothing to you. For me, it was signpost in a series of cute irresistible signposts that suggested I go to the University of York in the fall to get my masters in Linguistics. [and then suddenly…]


July 20, 2011

in best post ever,career,Etymology,history of language,insignificant linguistics mystery,latin,University of York,Words & Origins

A few years ago, I took first year Latin at PSU. I didn’t continue Latin because I got a job, and it turns out I hate declining nouns and adjectives. It is three times as much work. The professor was great, seemingly normal, but with a great unexpected affection for Elvis (pronouced Elwees in Latin). I really liked learning the new vocab and connecting it to modern words I know in English, Spanish and French. I also loved conjugating the verbs and learning the four principle parts like in the verb ‘regere,’ to rule or reign: Rego, Regere, Rexi, Rectum.

[and then suddenly…]


May 15, 2011

in best post ever,career,etymonline,history of language,insignificant linguistics mystery,IPA,latin,morphemes,spanish,wordnik

1. splendid
2. appendages
3. dyscalculia
4. senescence (I spelled it wrong)

Norton won, Robert got 2nd. I got a drink ticket and spent some of my last week winnings on a pretty good piece a pizza.


February 1, 2011

in 4th round,latin,spelling,spelling bee

Lotsa times in Roman times, the children would be named after the father. For boys this meant duplication, and for girls it often meant changing the ‘-us’ to ‘-a’ in Claudius to Claudia, Julius to Julia, Flavius to Flavia, etc. I know this because of Rotten Romans by Terry Deary. This playlist is somewhat related to that fact.

1. Antonia – Motion City Soundtrack

2. Cecilia – Simon and Garfunkel

3. Cynthia – Millionyoung

4. Daria – Cake

5. Eugenia – Scott Joplin

6. Gloria – Van Morrison

7. O Valencia! – The Decemberists

8. Victoria – Jukebox the Ghost

9. Dancing Virginia – Jump, Little Children

10. I’m Coming Virginia – Artie Shaw

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September 20, 2010

in horrible histories,latin,Music,names,patronyms,Playlists,rotten romans,short list