The Uneven History of the Word Odd

Caitlin Schneider

When a word has multiple, regularly used meanings, it often has an interesting (or at the very least bifurcated) history. Such is the case with “odd,” which began with the Indo-European root uzdho (“pointing upwards"), and developed into the many-meaning-ed word that it is today.

The several current meanings, from “different from what is usual or expected” to “not divisible by two,” are part of a shared and totally logical lineage, as explained in the above installment of TED Ed’s “Mysteries of Vernacular.”

The long history is covered in under two minutes, showing the linguistic connection between a peculiar individual and an isosceles triangle. And if you need even more odd in your life, check out the full lesson from Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel here.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]