Word for Wednesday: Sky

blog home

Do you ever look up and find yourself feeling dizzied by the enormity of the sky?

Or marvel at the rich palette of sunrise or sunset?

When you think about it we spend a lot of time never looking up!

There was an age where the sky was the only real source of light, our means of timekeeping and navigating and the focus of an immense amount of knowledge. The clouds were even home to the Gods of ancient Greek myth. Now we can go for days without even acknowledging the sky's existence.

What does the word ‘sky’ mean and what are its origins? Immediately, it appears strange due to its lack of vowels, which is uncommon in most Latinate languages – interestingly, the longest commonly used English word of this type is ‘rhythms’. ‘Sky’ originated from thirteenth-century Old Norse meaning ‘cloud’, later evolving to mean ‘cover’, perhaps giving us the poetic cliché of the sky as a blanket. The gothic meaning of the word is particularly fascinating; ‘skuggwa’ meaning ‘mirror’. The reason the sky appears blue is because the atmosphere doesn’t absorb the blue frequencies, and some are ‘mirrored’ back to us!

So take the opportunity to have a break, go outside and look up. You might be surprised by what you see.

Hugh MacDermott

14 May 2014
blog home

"Thank goodness for Spellzone during this remote learning phase. The site is easy for students to navigate independently and they're really enjoying the activities and spelling games. You get an awful lot for your money with Spellzone. Really reassuring is the very prompt response with helpdesk queries. I've very rarely needed the helpdesk, but when I have, the issue has been addressed and sorted within a very short time."

Sarah Taggart, Oasis Academy Lord's Hill