Random English Words And How They Got Their Meaning – Part Two

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

The name of the tomato flavoured sauce so common today comes from a Chinese word “ke-tsiap” discovered and imported by the Dutch, who spelled it “ketjap”. Unlikely as it seems the original sauce was composed of mushrooms, fish, salt and spices

Salt is essential to sustain human life. Roman soldiers were paid a quantity of salt in addition to their normal wages. This was called a “salarium”, from the Latin word “sal” for salt. “Salarium” came to mean the sum an officer received at regular intervals and it is now monetary payment at stated intervals.

The vandals were originally a Teutonic tribe who invaded northern Europe and Africa. In the 5th century they invaded and plundered Rome and ultimately became infamous for torturing Christians and destroying their churches. We now use their name to describe people who wantonly and mindlessly destroy beautiful or precious things


The word assassin comes from Hashshashin, an army of skilled killers employed by Muslims during the Crusades. They killed for political and religious reasons. It was thought that these hashashin would smoke hashish to attain a higher state of mental acuity prior to carrying out their murders.


Derived from the Czech word robota which means  “forced labour” or “hard work”.  It was used in a play by Czech dramatist Karl Čapek. This play was performed in 1921 and was entitled R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), where machines take over and turn humans into robotic slaves.

This way for part one –



About Author

Leave A Reply