Monthly Archives: May 2013

Consanguinity — close enough

sanguinity_definitionConsanguinity is a new word for me.  I was scanning a website where it was mentioned relating to membership in a group.  This is a military veterans group and it is not only for veterans, but those with consanguinity.  The site says eligibility to the group is for veterans along with spouses of veterans or related to a veteran within two degrees of consanguinity.

The general definition of consanguinity is a family relationship through parentage or decent.  It also means a blood relative, close relationship or connection.

The first usage of consanguinity is in the 14th century.  It comes from “com” meaning together combined with “sanguineus” which means of or pertaining to blood.

Way back when, laws in many areas used the degrees of consanguinity to prohibit sexual relations and marriages. It also was used to determine whether a person was eligible to inherit property when someone died without a will.

Cafetoriums have been around for a while

Cafetoriums have been around for years.


The work originates from a combination of two words—cafeteria and auditorium. If you read wordsbybob regularly, you will recognize this word as a portmanteau.

The cafetorium is a large room, usually in a school that serves both functions.

It seems the term cafetorium originated in somewhere between 1950 and 1955. I was in grade school at that time. Our school. Kenwood Elementary in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, had a cafeteria and the gym was our auditorium.

Ducat — That’s the ticket


Ducat  (rhymes with bucket) is an old word.  Today, you hear it used to mean a ticket to an event—especially a sporting event.

The word ducat is probably from the 14th Century. It was used to describe a variety of gold coins used in central European countries.

Derivation is Middle English, from Middle French, from Old Italian ducato coin or from duca doge, from Late Greek douk.


Pocket litter — what the heck is it?


Pocket litter is a term that I saw recently in a submission by someone in my writers’ critique group.

In the written submission, the writer was talking about pocket litter in the context of pet euthanasia.  This is her area of specialty, and she was relating some personal experiences.

In her story, pocket litter referred to items people bring with them when it is time to put their pet down. It may be a favorite toy, a collar and even a dog dish, etc.

This is one definition of pocket litter that I had never heard.  We all know that lint in the pocket is common in most pants.  This lint can be composed of small pieces of paper, bits of fabric and tissue scraps.

There are some other definitions of similar terms too.

It seems many years ago, when orphans had to resort to picking pockets, they used pocket lint. If they found no money in a pocket, they leave a small amount of lint to let people know they existed.

A more obscure meaning for pocket-lint is when it refers to marijuana or weed.