28 December 2018

Word of the Year

The Oxford Word of the Year for 2018 is "toxic" which is defined as "poisonous."
The collocates (words habitually used alongside toxic) include: chemical, masculinity, substance, environment and even a toxic relationship.

"Toxic" first appeared in English in the mid-seventeenth century. The etymology tracks its poisonous roots. It came from the medieval Latin toxicus, and back to the Latin toxicum, which has origins in the Greek toxikon pharmakon  which was the lethal poison used by the ancient Greeks for smearing on the points of their arrows. It is odd that pharmakon, meaning poison, did not move into Latin here, but toxikon did. The Greek word for "bow" was toxon., though it would seem that a word for arrow would have made more sense for the poison's use. 

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