Saturday, January 26, 2013

Word Mix-Up: WAIST and WASTE

WAIST: The noun "waist" refers to the middle part of the body. Compare also the compound noun "waistline."

WASTE: The noun "waste" means "desolate regions, a wilderness." It is from the Latin vastus, meaning "empty, unoccupied." The sense of a useless expenditure dates to around 1300, and the sense of trash or refuse dates to around 1400. You can see the Latin root more clearly in the English word "devastate," meaning to lay waste to something.

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