Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sock It To Me!

Kelly from Alanson wrote, “I've been thinking about the word sock. Someone can ‘sock someone in the nose’, tell you to ‘put a sock in it,’ or ‘cover you feet with socks.’ Where did that word come from?”

Sock in the usual sense (a stocking) comes from a Latin word, soccus, which meant a light slipper. Aside from the idioms that Kelly provided, you can sock your money away, stand 5 feet tall in your socks, knock someone’s socks off, pull your socks up, be someone’s sock puppet, or observe a windsock at the airport. Those are all connected to sock, n.1, in the Oxford English Dictionary.

A number of words share the same spelling. My favorite is sock, v.1.
  • sock, n.2:  a ploughshare
  • sock, n.3:  suck given to a child
  • sock, n.4:  a sound thrashing
  • sock, n.5:  edibles of various kinds
  • sock, n.6:  a pet child or young animal
  • sock, n.7:  a small coin
  • sock, n.8:  abbreviation of socket
  • sock, v.1:  to sew a corpse into a shroud
  • sock, v.2:  to strike hard
  • sock, v.3:  to give a gift
  • sock, v.4:  to sigh
  • sock, v.5:  to provide with socks; to put money aside; to enshroud, as a fog

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

Nook edition

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