Wednesday’s Word

Happy Wednesday!

You are halfway through the week!  Here’s a little something to take your mind off of your regular activities.

Sometimes I find myself wondering where in the world a random word comes from, and how it’s meaning evolved.  At times like this, I turn to my trusty tome, Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, for the answers.


Credit to product images

It really is extremely heavy!  I weighed it for fun and it turns out that it’s 8 ½ lbs(or 3.85 kgs).  I also own a giant thesaurus, which is only about 5 lbs.  I do love to have plenty of reference material should I need it.

In a recent conversation, the phrase “played havoc with my system” was uttered.  I was then left contemplating where exactly that phrase and the word havoc came from.  So today I hauled out my massive dictionary and looked it up.

Havoc is a verb meaning great destruction or devastation.  It comes from Middle English havok, which is derived from an earlier French command crier havoc, which was the signal for pillaging.

And now for a little bit of playing with words!

The pirate captain commands, “Havoc!” while the town watchman cries havoc to warn the villagers of the seamen intent on havocking their fields.  Several sailors work havoc on the inn and church collection box.  Others play havoc with the thatched roofed houses by setting them on fire.  The smoking remains after the ships pull out are a testament to the fact that the village has been well and truly havocked.

Havoc is such a fun and interesting word in that you can cry, command, play with, work, and wreak havoc.  There are so many different ways that you can use it!

Have you ever used havoc in a conversation?

Feel free to leave me a comment with the phrase or sentence that you used!

Have a happy Wednesday!

Ms. Turner