Friday, July 30, 2004

Etymology Today from M-W: kvell \KVELL\
: to be extraordinarily proud : rejoice

The history of "kvell" is far from a megillah, so don't kvetch. Etymology-meisters have determined that the word is derived from Yiddish "kveln," meaning "to be delighted," which, in turn, comes from the Middle High German word "quellen," meaning "to well, gush, or swell." The Merriam-Webster mavens whose shtick is dating words have not pinpointed an exact date for the appearance of "kvell" in the English language. They have found an entry for the word in a 1952 handbook of Jewish words and expressions, but actual usage evidence before that date remains unseen. (The words "megillah," "kvetch," "meister," "maven," and "shtick" are also of Yiddish origin.)

Previous E.T.

No comments: