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February 7, 2018

Word of the Day: Carp

1 CQ

Word of the Day : February 7, 2018

carp \KAHRP\ verb


: to find fault or complain querulously

Did You Know?

You might guess that today's word is a descendant of the noun carp, referring to a type of fish. That's a reasonable speculation, but the words are unrelated. Both entered the English language in the 15th century but from different sources. Whereas the fish's name traces back to Latin carpa, the verb is of Scandinavian origin: it may be related to the Icelandic verb karpa, meaning "to dispute" or "to wrangle," and beyond that perhaps to Old Norse karp, meaning "boasting" or "arrogance." There is a noun carp that is related to the Scandinavian verb, however: it means "complaint," and it dates to that same century.

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Aired February 7, 2018

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