Every Wednesday, I explore the linguistic origins of one word in different languages I speak.
My sister recently commented that I’d become “more Zen” since leaving the US. I think she was miffed that I no longer get angry about a lot of the types of things that used to vex us both. It wasn’t easy to learn how to let things go, but generally speaking, I do.
Having said this, I do still get annoyed by things, just not as often.
Being without Internet for an entire month and not even knowing why for two weeks and then (nicely) arguing with people for another two weeks to get the damn connection restored? Yeah, that pissed me off. But my “Zen” approach is to realize that, despite my American can-do, where-there’s-a-will-there’s-a-way, the-customer’s-always-right spirit, I live in Europe now where that amounts to zero and there’s not a damn thing I can do about anything.
And in August, that goes double. NO ONE is going to go out of their way to help you in August. Just embrace the futility and sit back and read a book. A really long one. Or five really long ones.
EN → annoy — irritate (someone); make (someone) a little angry. ORIGIN Old French anoier, based on Latin in odio in the phrase mihi in odio est [it is hateful to me].
ES → molestar — Causar molestia. [Cause annoyance.] ORIGIN Latin molestāre [take annoyance].
FR → gêner — Causer une gêne à (qqn), mettre mal à l’aise. [Cause someone annoyance, make someone uncomfortable]. ORIGIN Latin gehenna from Hebrew gē-Hinnōm [Valley of Hinnom, aka Jewish Hell or Purgatory], located south of Jerusalem, where Jews offered child sacrifices to Moloch.
If you’ve been reading these for a while, you’ll know that whenever there’s some Hebrew up in the Word Mystery, the Jews are taking it all the way.