Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Where Does That Word Come From? > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Where Does That Word Come From?

"Instead of a handshake, I gave Toby a high-five to break the ice; and when we sat down on the front porch and started talking off the cuff, it was as if serendipity brought us together."

That sentence contains several words and actions you see and hear every day. But have you ever wondered where some of our most common communication-related terms come from?

Handshake
We do it every day ? sometimes 20 times a day. But how many of us actually know where the handshake originated? According to author/speaker Melvin Murphy, "The handshake has origins more anthropological than historical. Men used to carry knives, spears and rocks. And when land was scarce, males would extend their hand to show that they were not attempting to kill their neighbor."

"Furthermore, the classical Greeks were under the impression that the right hands were mysteriously connected to the heart. And they may not have been very far off point. The handshake is a symbol equivalent of a promise. It becomes a virtue of the word and value of the person extending it. It is an agreement sealed with honor before the lawyers get involved. The handshake is a very valuable tool and, since in business often the communication is one-to-one, it's flexible and indicates that an agreement has been reached on current dealings. It says that all information and intentions have been disclosed so that the value of the handshake is not diminished. The lesson here is that the handshake historically has carried symbolic importance. It is good to know what your handshake is worth. It's your word and it says you can deliver on your promises."

High Five
It was late in the 1977 season. Dusty Baker of the Dodgers was rounding third, heading for home, having just hit his 30th home run. The Dodgers were heading for a National League pennant! The on-deck hitter was Glenn Burke, enjoying his second season in the big leagues. As Baker crossed the plate Burke raised his hand. Baker responded by raising his. The two hands slapped together and a bit of history was made: the very first high-five.

Popularized in the 80's, the high-five not only served as a cultural symbol, but was added to the dictionary as well! According to Merriam Webster, a high-five (noun or verb) is "a slapping of upraised right hands by two people, as in celebration."

Break the Ice
The origination of the term break the ice dates back to old trade practices that involve, well, breaking the ice. When cargo ships became icebound for weeks at a time due to bitter, frozen winters, smaller ships were sent out to break the ice in order to make a path that would enable future trade. In other words, if you (as a boatman) wanted to get down to business - you had to break the ice.

Front Porch
In the book Preserving Porches, Rene Kahn explains that front porches were first made popular by the Greeks. They used them as gathering spots for public discussions, originally called porticos. As history unfolded and the Middle Ages arrived, the porch came to represent a cathedral's vestibule where worshippers could gather to socialize before and after the service. Then, by Victorian times, the word "porch" became interchangeably used with the words "veranda," "piazza," "loggia," and "portico," each of which could connote individual meanings. From this period until the second half of the nineteenth century, the word "porch" itself most often described a small, enclosed vestibule or covered rear entrance.

At this time, at the end of the nineteenth century, the word "porch" began to represent its present meaning. This meaning, in its American sense, generally refers to a "roofed, but incompletely walled living area." Honestly, I like what Bill Cosby says about front porches, "The front porch was an invention of the housewife who wanted to keep her husband far enough away to be quiet; but close enough in case she couldn't lift something heavy."

Off the Cuff
According to www.idiomsite.com, although this phrase was traditionally thought to be a spontaneous statement or response (isn't amazing how he comes up with those ideas off the cuff like that...?), it actually has origins in one of two places, depending on who you listen to. One example comes from the English Pub keepers' accounting system. Bartenders of the era kept track of patron's tabs by markings made on the starched cuffs of their shirts, so that with a mere glance at their shirt cuffs the bartender could quote a price seemingly 'off the cuff.' It may also come from the alleged practice, in the 1930's, of public speakers making last-minute notes on their shirt cuffs, for use during their speeches.

Serendipity
According to www.word-detective.com, the connection you've heard of between "serendipity" and Sri Lanka is true, and it's a very interesting story. Back in 1754, Horace Walpole, fourth Earl of Orford, wrote a letter to his friend, Horace Mann. In this letter, Horace W. undertook to explain to Horace M. the derivation of a new word he had invented, "serendipity":

I once read a silly fairy tale, called 'The Three Princes of Serendip'; as their highnesses traveled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of.

By 'serendipity,' Walpole meant 'the gift of making lucky discoveries, of finding valuable things one is not looking for,' and the word entered English in that sense. Curiously, however, 'serendipity' was rarely used in literature until the 20th century, and today is more often employed to mean the lucky find or happenstance itself, as in 'A parking meter with time left on it when one is broke is serendipity.'"

So, next time someone mentions one of these words; shakes your hand or gives you a high five; tell him the history behind it! It's a great conversation starter and surefire way to spice up the encounter.

© 2005 All Rights Reserved.

Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, "The World's Foremost Expert on Nametags" and the author of HELLO my name is Scott and The Power of Approachability. He helps people MAXIMIZE their approachability and become UNFORGETTABLE communicators - one conversation at a time. For more information contact Front Porch Productions at http://www.hellomynameisscott.com.

In The News:


Forbes

Hate Networking? Two Easy Secrets To Connect Like A Pro
Forbes
The most common excuses I hear from those who avoid their networking responsibilities are built on limiting beliefs and a fixed mindset. For example, “I hate networking events,” “I don't know what to talk about,” “I'm too busy,” and my personal ...


Network World

6 AI ingredients every wireless networking strategy needs
Network World
An area where AI is already showing enormous value is wireless networking. The use of machine learning can transform WLANs into neural networks that simplify operations, expedite troubleshooting and provide unprecedented visibility into the user ...


ZDNet

Netgear Orbi Pro, First Take: Business-friendly mesh networking
ZDNet
Mesh networking has been a big trend in recent months, with all the major networking players getting in on the act, as well as big names such as Google and Asus. Netgear's eye-catching Orbi was one of the first mesh systems to arrive last year but ...


TravelPulse

Local Networking with Travel Planners International
TravelPulse
Networking can be a crucial tool for professional success in any industry. The ability to make valuable connections and exchange insider tips and business strategies can help you be more productive, manage your business more efficiently and avoid many ...


ZDNet

Windows 10 networking and security tips
ZDNet
The networking tips in this category cover administrative tasks, such as weeding out saved Wi-Fi credentials and looking up your IP address, as well as occasional troubleshooting demands. Unfortunately, in a world where connectivity is easy and fast ...


Variety

Facebook Acquires Anonymous Teen Networking App tbh
Variety
Facebook has acquired the anonymous social networking app tbh for an undisclosed amount, and intends to continue to operate it as a standalone app. The acquisition was first reported by Techcrunch Monday, which put the acquisition price at around $100 ...
tbh has a new homeTbh
Facebook acquires anonymous teen compliment app tbh, will let it runTechCrunch
Oculus Has No Plans for Virtual Reality Subscriptions, Exec SaysVariety

all 124 news articles »

The Hill

Wi-Fi security flaw leaves all wireless networking vulnerable
The Hill
A flaw in the Wi-Fi protocol used to connect laptops and smart devices to networks could leave wireless networking vulnerable to eavesdropping. The security issue was discovered by Mathy Vanhoef at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.
Flaw Found in WPA2 Wireless Networking Security ProtocolADT Magazine
Newly Discovered Security Flaw Leaves All Wi-Fi Networks VulnerablePatch.com
Save Yourself from Devastating KRACK Wi-Fi Hack AttackTop Tech News
Publications - Mathy Vanhoef -The Verge -Ars Technica -Wi-Fi Alliance
all 616 news articles »

EMCORE Begins Customer Sampling of New OBI Mitigated RFoG ...
GlobeNewswire (press release)
ALHAMBRA, Calif., Oct. 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- EMCORE Corporation (NASDAQ:EMKR), a leading provider of advanced Mixed-Signal Optics ...

and more »

Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT to host networking event
Norwich Bulletin
The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut will host its next Business After Hours networking event from 5:30 to 7:30 Nov. 1 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino, 350 Trolley Lane Blvd., Mashantucket. The networking event will allow business owners and ...

and more »

NBCNews.com

Insider Secrets to Successful Networking
NBCNews.com
Networking can seem daunting, but it's an absolute must when you're looking for help to grow your business. MSNBC's JJ Ramberg has these tips and tricks to help you improve your networking. Video Will Begin In... 3. Play. Facebook · Twitter; Embed.

Google News

Are You in the Relationship Business?

Are you in the relationship business? Of course you are.... Read More

The Secrets of Effective Networking

Before we talk about specific networking tips I want to... Read More

Online Business Networking: How Personal is Too Personal?

Online networking has opened up some fantastic business opportunities for... Read More

9 Ways to Spice Up Your Nametags for More Engaging Conversation

Nametags are worn for a variety of jobs and functions,... Read More

Franchisees Should Learn From Each Other

If you own a franchise you should be in contact... Read More

Mobile Car Wash Companies; Trading Tips

If you run a mobile car washing firm we recommend... Read More

Networking for Wallflowers: How to Profit from Getting into the Crowd

The two most common complaints about networking are: 1) I... Read More

The 7 Habits of Highly Horrible Networkers

Networking is a term that didn't exist (academically) until almost... Read More

Networking Know-how

Successful networking requires the understanding from the get-go that it... Read More

Unforgettable First Impressions Part 2: Its All About Them!

Jean de la Bruyere said, "The great gift of conversation... Read More

How to Get Ahead in Your Career

Bigger Better Deal. That's what everyone always hopes will come... Read More

The Secrets to Networking Success

Recently I was interviewed for a book on networking. My... Read More

Lessons from the Wedding Mafia

One of my clients shared a story with me from... Read More

Create a 10 Second Introduction From Your USP

You can generate a ton of business by networking, whether... Read More

5 Ways to Wow People Who Wear Nametags

People wear nametags more often than you think. The majority... Read More

Growing Your Network of People Can be Easy and Fun!

A few years back when I moved to Charlotte, NC... Read More

How Speakers, Exhibitors, Consultants, and Meeting Planners Partner-Generate More Money and Value

? "Make Every Moment Count" is the title of a... Read More

Five Best Ways To Build A Network

I have been working from home on the internet for... Read More

Your Front End

While surfing for traffic or browsing your safelist emails, you... Read More

Strategic Networking: Take the Shortest Path to Success

Do you use Ryze or LinkedIn to promote your web... Read More

Business Networking - Common Myths and Realities

Can we agree about the meaning of networking? I don't... Read More

Savvy Networking: Grow Your Business and Your Career

Did you know that contacts are the bread of career... Read More

Youve Got Personality, Use It!

For the self employed professional, nothing is more important than... Read More

The 4 Attitudes of Awesome Hospitality

Hospitality relates to the Latin term philoxenia, or "the love... Read More

Effective Networking

The process of finding out about a job, getting interviewed,... Read More