I must warn you, you’re not going to be able to look at avocados the same way again. Let’s face it, between Shakespeare and ‘SMH’, the English language has changed quite a bit.

And while we’ve already spoken plenty about words not meaning what you thought they did, we did a bit of digging into some of these word origins.

You will not believe what we found.


1) Avocados

With avocados becoming all the millennial rage, how many people can say that they actually know where this word came from?

It comes from the Aztec word, “ahuacatl,” which means testicle. Clearly, the Aztecs had no issues calling it like they saw it. And since avocados also act as aphrodisiacs, we can’t really blame them!


2) Mortgage

A word that we’re all unfortunately familiar with, and its etymology makes it crystal clear as to why. The word “Mortgage” comes from the Old French mort (dead) and gage (pledge),


3) Assassin

What if centuries of mispronouncing a word would make it right?

Assassin comes from “hashishiyyin,” meaning hashish-users in Arabic. It was the name used by a group of Muslim fanatics during the Crusades, who smoked hashish and murdered leaders on the opposing side.

Great job, guys.


4) Vodka

If vodka is a diminutive of  the Russian word for water, voda, then it’s basically calling it “little water” shots.

Or “Waterypoo”. Or “Waterkins”. You get the drift.


5) Clue

This one’s for the absolute Greek myth nerds! As the legend of Theseus and the minotaur goes, he entered the Labyrinth and unraveled a ‘clew’, or a ball of string, to find his way back.    

The version that we know of today came about somewhere in the mid-1500s when people started to vary (read: distort) the spelling of “clew.”


6) Whiskey

Someone called this one a long time back. Whiskey is short for whiskeybae, which in Old English is ‘usquebae’. This comes from two Gaelic words: uisce (water) and bethu (life). Basically, ‘water of life”.

See, I told you. Someone called it right a long time ago. I’ll have some ‘water of life’ on the rocks please.


7) Vagina

In Latin, vagina means “sheath”. If only they met the feminists of today, they’d know about our swords.

Know of any more interesting word origins? Let us know!