Saturday, January 28, 2006

Glamour- Magic


Glamour
from Scots
This word originated in Scotland


Where else would you find glamour but on a windswept Scottish heath? Though you might look elsewhere for glamour today, the Scottish dialect of English is where all other English speakers got the word. Of course the Scots had a more serious meaning for it.

Originally it meant nothing more or less than grammar, the study of the proper form of words and sentences. This was back in the Middle Ages, when only a few clerics and clerks (both words have the same origin) knew how to write. To others, grammar meant something mysterious and magical, as it still does to many who wrestle with the language today. Eventually grammar came to have a secondary meaning of "magic."

In Scots, the word had an l instead of the first r. We find writers from Scotland using this magical glamour in English as early as 1720. Later in the eighteenth century, the poet Robert Burns writes of

And the novelist Sir Walter Scott discussed the magical glamour in his Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft (1830).

In the twentieth century, it was apparently American usage that transferred the glamour of magic to the glamour of fashion, personality, and life style. To make the word even more glamorous, Americans retained the British our ending instead of changing it to or as we usually do (in words like color and flavor).

WordNet information about glamour
WordNet 1.7.1 Copyright © 2001 by Princeton University. All rights reserved. More from WordNet

37 comments:

Chillies and chocolate said...

Wow, Ellen, this is amazing. And sooo cute.

All possible possums said...

That comment was supposed to be from me - mum did it wrong. She thinks it's amazing too, though.

Abbie said...

I love your drawings.. the emotion you get with a pencil is wonderful! Excellent!

Caroline said...

The drawing is equisite but even more I love what you've told about glamour.

And I was wondering about the spelling.

Thanks!

Paul said...

I love your animal illustrations! My blogs are about animals.

Michelle said...

Very informative and I love the bunnies.

Lee said...

the detail is incredible - well done!

The Whippy Curly Tails said...

Love those fuzzy ears! Your animals are so great.

Ayelet said...

I don't know what's more impressive - that you bothered to study what "glamour" is to such an extent, or that you managed to draw such cuddly bunnies! :)

Alina Chau said...

very beautiful!! Love your interpretation of the theme!

Anonymous said...

Very glamorous! Guess the Americans would make bunnies into stales? Whoops, I had better be careful with what I say. They are far too fine to do anything but pose on the top hat :)

The Unknown said...

Love the story and the illo. Nice work.
love

kg said...

those bunnies are wonderful, especially the one coming out of the hat - he looks like a mischevious one!

Toni said...

I love your bunnies. excellant drawing. and i love the fact you gave so much info here. i looked up the meaning of Glamour and posted what the dictionary said. you tell the whole story and i love it

Deb said...

This is a great take on the word 'Glamour' - to go back to the root and illustrate the meaning! I love it!
Great drawing!
Keep Creating...

The Tart said...

The details in the fur is great...I want to pet their furry ears!

Smooch,
The Tart & The Fireman!

steve said...

Great job--another excellent drawing from you! Very interesting write up about the current topic too.

My Cartoon said...

Wonderful illustration and interesting post--I love word origins.

Rectite23 said...

beautiful work! I love your illo and learned something new too!

...Kat said...

fascinating! and the rabbits are wonderful!

kitty chaos said...

thanks for the comment. I love your bunnies they look so real. great work keep it up!

Stephen "Steve" said...

Great job. I love that grammer is glamorous! I know some kids, Scot or otherwise, that would disagree nowadays.

carla said...

Thanks for the story of gkamour... and i love your rabbits! Such fine work you do:>

Aravis said...

Fascinating, and a gorgeous drawing.

AscenderRisesAbove said...

Wonderful pen and ink technique throughout your site -- it just keeps getting better and better!

Natura said...

Your linework is so great, all the details are delightful. Very fun!

catnapping said...

wow, that makes so much more sense.

when you consider that the "glamourous" do have that certain je ne sais quois.

great post, and great line work.

edian said...

Very cool!! You have made me very happy with your comments and your drawings... I´ve learned a new thing reading your texts! Thanks for sharing it...
:D

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Thanks for the OED gloss!! I would never had realized the connection... although I did have a tough time understanding the Scots.... who often seemed to be gargling their R's and L's!

AnastasiaC said...

What gorgeous bunnies!!! they are glam indeed!
ACx

Amy Zaleski said...

Howdy, Ellen! As usual, your take on the subject is an original (and educational, as well)! Very cool. Of course the linework here is impressive too.

Jaimie said...

This is a wonderful bunny drawing. And magical!
Thanks for the information on the word glamour. I find word origins so interesting.

kikazinha said...

Dear Ellen,

thank you for the amazing words you've left at my blog.I was really happy.One stays here working and never thinks that it will influence people somehow.

I liked your post, everyday is a good day to learn something new.I had no idea Glamour had such a story :-)
C.P.

matt said...

Love your pen technique!

flossy-p said...

Is this true? How interesting, I love the history of words and sayings, and how they morph into new meanings is fascinating. Once when I was on a Shakesphere tourist tour in England I was amazed to learn how many common sayings that we use today originated from his scripts.

Lovely illo too. Thanks.

RedT0pMedusa said...

I like the way you used texture to create forms and structure. I'm a big fan of your textures. Makes for nice negative space between the textures, gives the eyes space to rest. exellent.

salmonowen said...

Nice illo. and fascinating background of the word! I guess glamour really is all about magic. You have a nice way with blackline art. Thanks for posting on my blog!

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