Monday, March 27, 2006

Crapula: a perfectly "crumulent" word

From the Washington Post I learn that "krapula" is the Finnish word for hangover. I found this a bit unusual at first because if I remember correctly, Finnish is not even an Indo-European language, and "crapula" is a relatively obscure English word meaning the same thing ("crapulent" being the adjective). I suppose it's not implausible the Finns picked up the word from their neighbors. Its origin, according to the OED is obscure but nevertheless comes from the Latin, via the Greek.

[L. crapula excessive drinking, inebriation, intoxication, ad. Gr. drunken headache or nausea, the result of a drunken debauch. In adopting the Gr. word, the Romans seem to have put the cause for the result; both senses are found in the English derivatives.]

Whatever its origin it's an almost perfect word for what it describes. Truly, when one feels crapulent, one "feels like crap". Coincidence?


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