Link copied.
We want to bridge divides to reach everyone.
Already a subscriber? Log in to hide ads.
A selection of the most viewed stories this week on the Monitor’s website.
Every Saturday
Hear about special editorial projects, new product information, and upcoming events.
Occasional
Select stories from the Monitor that empower and uplift.
Every Weekday
An update on major political events, candidates, and parties twice a week.
Twice a Week
Stay informed about the latest scientific discoveries & breakthroughs.
Every Tuesday
A weekly digest of Monitor views and insightful commentary on major events.
Every Thursday
Latest book reviews, author interviews, and reading trends.
Every Friday
A weekly update on music, movies, cultural trends, and education solutions.
Every Thursday
The three most recent Christian Science articles with a spiritual perspective.
Every Monday
Loading…
No, “golf” does not mean “gentlemen only; ladies forbidden.” Rather, its dry etymology leads us back to the Middle Dutch word “colf” or “colve.”

English words rarely get their start as acronyms. Looking at the number of folk etymologies that explain acronymic origins, though, you might think that many common terms were stitched together from the first letters of other words. English does contain acronyms, of course, but they tend to be produced in academic, military, or governmental contexts, and first appeared in the late 19th century. 
Laser is a good example. The word was coined in 1959 because it rolls off the tongue more easily than “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” 
Snafu – “a situation marked by errors or confusion … [or] an error causing such a situation,” according to Merriam-
Webster – comes from the first letters of “situation normal, all fouled up,” popular 1940s military slang. 
The “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus” was patented in the 1950s, and gave us scuba.
False acronymic etymologies tend to be convoluted and dramatic. One example is posh, “elegant, fashionable” or “typical of … the upper classes.” The story goes that rich 19th-century British travelers would book cabins on the port (left) side of the ship on journeys to India, and on the starboard (right) side on the way back, because these would be the coolest cabins for the hot voyage. These tickets would be stamped POSH, for “port out, starboard home,” which then came to describe the wealthy travelers themselves. There is no evidence that this story is true, but it’s much more interesting than the term’s real etymology, which, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “origin unknown.” 
News is a surprising candidate for an acronym. It has been used since 1417 to refer to “new occurrences as a subject of report or talk”; “the news” is simply “what’s new.” In the 17th century, a poet noticed that news was made up of the first letters of the cardinal directions, and by the 19th century this coincidence had become an origin story. An 1845 dictionary of etymology defines newspaper as “a paper containing intelligence from the North, East, West, and South” – from everywhere, in other words.  
Get stories that
empower and uplift daily.
Already a subscriber? Log in to hide ads.
Golf was first played in Scotland in the 15th century by women and men, aristocrats and tradespeople. As the game developed, it became associated with the wealthy men who founded private clubs to build and maintain courses. In the 1990s, a story arose that the word itself reflects the sport’s exclusionary tendencies – “gentlemen only; ladies forbidden.” Actually, golf comes from the Middle Dutch word colf or colve, meaning “stick, club, bat,” via the Scottish gouf
Colorful origin stories for acronyms are fun, but are unlikely to be true. 
Already a subscriber? Login
Monitor journalism changes lives because we open that too-small box that most people think they live in. We believe news can and should expand a sense of identity and possibility beyond narrow conventional expectations.
Our work isn’t possible without your support.
Already a subscriber? Login

Link copied.
We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.
Dear Reader,
About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:
“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”
If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.
But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.
The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.
We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”
If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.
Subscribe to insightful journalism
Already a subscriber? Log in to hide ads.
A selection of the most viewed stories this week on the Monitor’s website.
Every Saturday
Hear about special editorial projects, new product information, and upcoming events.
Occasional
Select stories from the Monitor that empower and uplift.
Every Weekday
An update on major political events, candidates, and parties twice a week.
Twice a Week
Stay informed about the latest scientific discoveries & breakthroughs.
Every Tuesday
A weekly digest of Monitor views and insightful commentary on major events.
Every Thursday
Latest book reviews, author interviews, and reading trends.
Every Friday
A weekly update on music, movies, cultural trends, and education solutions.
Every Thursday
The three most recent Christian Science articles with a spiritual perspective.
Every Monday
Follow us:
Your subscription to The Christian Science Monitor has expired. You can renew your subscription or continue to use the site without a subscription.
Return to the free version of the site
If you have questions about your account, please contact customer service or call us at 1-617-450-2300.
This message will appear once per week unless you renew or log out.
Your session to The Christian Science Monitor has expired. We logged you out.
Return to the free version of the site
If you have questions about your account, please contact customer service or call us at 1-617-450-2300.
You don’t have a Christian Science Monitor subscription yet.
Return to the free version of the site
If you have questions about your account, please contact customer service or call us at 1-617-450-2300.

source

Shop Sephari