Word for Wednesday: Sharpener

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Our Word for Wednesday theme for September is stationery

Stationery comes from the Latin ‘stationarius’ which means ‘tradesman who sells from a station or shop’. The word was first used to describe ‘the articles sold by a stationer’ in 1727.

So far we have looked at the words pencil, pen, and ruler, and today's stationery-themed word is sharpener.

The word sharpener refers to any implement that is used to make something sharper. While the term sharpener dates to the 1630s, the term pencil sharpener is from 1854. 

Both words come from word ‘sharpen’ which dates to the 1520s and in turn comes from the adjective ‘sharp-‘ and the suffix ‘-en’.

'Sharp' comes from the Old English ‘scearp’ which in turn comes from the Proto-Germanic ‘sharpaz’ meaning ‘cutting’. 

23 Sep 2020
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"I would like to thank you so much for this great website. I have always been ashamed of my spelling but after a few lessons I am already better. It is filling in all the gaps. Thanks."

Student, France