Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Etymology: Word History - Jade

 Jade was believed to have medicinal/magical powers and be effective on the kidneys.   Jades name in Spanish translates to "loin stone".  Jade also meant broken down horse, to be Jaded was to be broken down.  Jade also referred to a broken down woman of ill repute.  


A pretty girl at time o' gloaming Hath whispered me to go and meet her Without the city gate. I love her, but she tarries coming. Shall I return, or stay and greet her? I burn, and wait.
Truly she charmeth all beholders,
'Tis she hath given me this jewel, The jade of my delight; But this red jewel-jade that smoulders, To my desire doth add more fuel, New charms to-night.
She has gathered with her lily fingers A lily fair and rare to see. Oh! sweeter still the fragrance lingers From the warm hand that gave it me.
Ngram Popularity:
Jade was most popularly used between 1920 and 1940.

And Most Interesting Usage:
Popular Science in February 1923 reported a statue of a Maori Warrior carved out of Jade.  Read It Here. 

The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories ( Miriam Webster Inc., 1991), 492.

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