Happy Wednesday, word nerds! Don’t you think idiosyncrasy is a cool word? I’ve been reminded of it thanks to my current read, which I can’t say anything about at present (how’s that for getting all mysterious on you!) The word has come up a few times in relation to some of the characters, and it struck me as a good word to investigate etymologically. Because that just happens to be one of my idiosyncrasies!
But first, the definition according to the Cambridge Dictionary:
idiosyncrasy (n) – a strange or unusual habit, way of behaving, or feature that someone or something has.
It comes from the Greek word idiosynkrasia meaning “a peculiar temperament”; Idio meaning “one’s own, personal, private”, syn meaning “together” and krasis meaning “mixture”. In other words, the blend of characteristics that belong uniquely to a particular person.
Incidentally, the Greek root idio is also at the root of words like idiom (a turn of phrase peculiar to a particular language) and even idiot, which originally referred to a private person (as opposed to someone involved in public life). A person who took no part in public life (or was wholly absorbed by his own affairs) gradually became thought of as ‘ignorant’, and then it’s easy to see how the meaning developed from there to the insult it is today.
But that’s getting off my original point (perhaps another of my idiosyncrasies!)
What I’d like to know is, do you have any idiosyncrasies? I’ll get the ball rolling and share that I eat raw tomatoes like apples—something that totally grosses my husband out, I might add (mainly because he can’t stand raw tomato!)
Now it’s your turn!