How do you roll?
The Indo-European word meaning to roll is *wel-. It was constructed by etymologists based on evidence from Sanskrit, Greek, Lithuanian, Old Church Slavonic, Latin, Old Irish, Old High German, Old English, & more.
Its offspring are legion. Here is a small sampling:
revolve — to roll back
devolve — to roll down
involve — to roll into
evolve — to unroll
revolt — to roll over
convoluted -- to roll together
volume — originally a roll of parchment containing writing
whelk — a marine snail with a spiraling (rolling) shell
willow — a tree — imagine a storybook weeping willow, with branches that enclose anyone standing near the trunk, foliage that rolls around that person
wallow — originally, a disturbed spot in the soil where some animal had rolled around
wallet — originally a bag or knapsack holding one’s bedroll
waltz — in 1825 the waltz was considered a riotous and indecent German dance involving the gentlemen seizing the ladies around their waists — involving not only a circular rolling pattern on the dance floor, but the nimble rolling of the ball of the foot.
Comment or not, depending on how you roll.
My thanks go out to this week’s sources: Merriam Webster, Collins Dictionary, Wordnik, & Etymonline.
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I write for teens, narrate audio books, bake bread, play music, and ponder the wonder of words in a foggy little town on California's central coast.
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