Lagomorphy The Snowman

by wootbot

Holgar The Horrible Linguist

Ever wonder why the English language is so messed? 

Everybody knows that baby rabbits are called "bunnies," but did you know that they're also called "kits" or "kittens?" This is because the English language was invented by an 11th-century drunk named Olgar. The story goes that after calling juvenile rabbits "bunnies" for no reason whatsoever, Olgar drank a flagon of mead and either changed his mind or confused cats with rabbits, calling them "kittens." Either way, we're stuck with it now thanks to that soused norseman.

Although he invented one of the most-spoken languages on Earth, Olgar was notoriously inconsistent in his naming practices. He had four names for juvenile codfish, including "codling" (sensical), "hake" (possibly a drunken hiccup), "sprag" (?), and "sprat "(did you mean "sprag," Halgar?)

Halgar was also maddeningly thrifty with certain definitions. For instance, the word "set" has over 400 definitions in the Oxford English Dictionary. i.e. "I was all set to set the table with my new poker set, but my dogs set upon me and set about eviscerating me."

So the next time you wonder why there is a difference between "fewer" and "less" but no similar distinction for "more," or why the letter "O" can be pronounced four different ways, shake your fist at the memory of the drunk viking Holgar. He doesn't care.