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Bizarre And Hilarious Word Origin Stories From The English Language

Bizarre And Hilarious Word Origin Stories From The English Language

People speak an average of 16,000 words every day. It's not often that we take a moment to stop and think about the origin of each of these words the stories behind their creation, and how they came to be a part of our every day life. Below are some of the most interesting word origin stories of the English (and a couple other) language. 

If you would like to read more, click on the source under each word.

The latin prefix pen comes from paene, which means almost. So a peninsula is almost an island, the penultimate thing is almost last. I wonder what that means about people named Penelope? 


The word dingbat has an incredibly diverse array of meanings and applications. It's not just a funny insult to hurl at your friends. 

First, it referred to an alcoholic drink in 1838. Then it evolved to mean something similar to words such as "thingamabob" or "gizmo" a stand in word for something that has no names. 

Throughout the next century and a half, dingbat was really all over the map when it came to applications. It was used as one of a broad range of typographical ornaments ( la the typeface Zapf Dingbats by Hermann Zapf), a muffin, a woman who is neither your sister nor mother, a foolish authority figure the plural for male genitalia.

The word took on its current, most accepted definition of "foolish person" as early as 1905, but that application wasn't popularized until the 1970s, when it was used in the U.S. TV show, All in the Family.


(c. 1784): 

Although it was widely popularized by the Warner Brothers character Yosemite Sam (What in tarnation!?!), this word has been floating around since 1784. 

Tarnation started out as an American English derivative of "darnation," which was, as you may have already guessed, a milder way of expressing the profanity "damnation." 

So where did that t come from? 

The "t" in tarnation was influenced by "tarnal," yet another mild 18th century profanity derived from the phrase "by the Eternal," which was used as such: "Joe paid a tarnal high price for his dillydallying."

So, in essence, tarnation is a mash up of words that translate to mean eternal + damnation. Yet, it doesn't exactly seem to be used in that way anymore. 


The origins of the word "peculiar" lie in the mid-15th century, when peculiar actually meant belonging exclusively to one person and denoted the concept of private property. As in, John's house is peculiar. 

The English word derived its meaning from the Latin word peculiaris, which held a similar meaning. 

Peculiaris, in turn, was plucked from the Latin peculium, which implied private property, but literally meant property in cattle. One might consider livestock to be a curious root for a term referring to private property, but in ancient times, cattle were considered the most important form of property, and wealth was measured by the number of cows one owned. 

So how did we get from ownership to the meaning we have today? 

The current meaning of peculiar (i.e. unusual) arrived in the 17th century. This definition surfaced after the term evolved to mean distinguished, or special in the late 16th century (because, naturally, people blessed with bovine abundance were considered distinguished and special).


The word slang was popularized in the English language throughout the mid-18th century. It originally referred specifically to the lexicon of thieves and sex workers of the time. 

The word's origin is largely believed to have been Norwegian, derived from the phrase slengja kjeften, which literally meant to sling the jaw, but which carried the implication to abuse with words. 

Its current meaning—informal colloquial speech that is used as a substitute for other terms or concepts in the same vernacular—became common in the early 19th century. The use of "slang" was popularized around the same time as the word slangwhanger, an American English term meaning "one who uses abusive slang" or "a ranting partisan". Sadly enough, slangwhanger is uncommon in our current lexicon, but I vote for a comeback!

There is a common belief that the word slang is actually just short for "shortened language." However, there are no reputable sources to verify this belief, and doesn't necessarily make sense because slang terms aren't always shorter than the language they are replacing. On the contrary, the factors required for colloquialisms to qualify as slang are that they are informal, and they are specific to a particular social group or culture. 


Since the 1500s, the word periwinkle has been used as the name of two distinct items: an edible sea snail and a broadleaf evergreen plant—or, in its adjective form, periwinkle refers to the color of the periwinkle flowers. 

Interestingly enough, each of the two noun forms comes from a distinct root with disparate—though not entirely unrelated—origins. The name of the plant is a diminutive form of the 12th century English word parvink, which is derived from the Old English word perwince, which is in turn derived from pervinca, the Late Latin word for the periwinkle plant. Pervinca is likely derived from the verb pervincire, which means entwine or bind. More literally, pervincire could be read as thoroughly bound, from per- (thoroughly) and vincire (to bind or fetter). This root presumably refers to the way the creeping plant grows, thickly and carpet-like, across the ground or other surfaces, entwining anything in its path.

What does that have to do with snails, you ask? 

Well, the common periwinkle is a marine mollusk native to the northeastern Atlantic Ocean—particularly the European coastline—though they can now be found on North American coastlines as well, perhaps having traveled over while attached to mid-19th Century sea vessels. These hitchhiking gastropods were likely called periwinkles as a cultural variation on their Old English name, pinewincle. With entirely different origins from parvink, pinewincle is comprised of the Old English pine-"—which is derived from the Latin word pina (mussel, originally from the Greek pine)—and wincel, which means spiral shell and comes from the Proto-Germanic prefix winkil- (bend, curve).

While its fascinating that two words implying curling, bending, binding and entwining came from entirely different origins, its not entirely clear why these two nouns converged into a homonym/graph/phone. It seems likely that its due to the similarity between the sounds and meanings—particularly those of the diminutive attribute of the plants name that implies its entwining growth (winkle from Latin) and the portion of the snails name that describes its curved shell (the Old English-Germanic wincel turned winkle). 

So, if youve ever asked yourself that age-old question, What the heck do flowers and snails have in common? the answer is periwinkle.


(Thanks to Etymologist articulateantagonist for contributing this one!)

The word muscle derives from the Latin word "musculus", which translates to "little mouse". 

When physicians were first observing musculature, it is said that they remarked that the muscles in the biceps and calves (most notably) looked like mice running under the skin.

So, I guess it stuck!


Quarantine comes from the French word "qarante", which means forty. 

It comes from way back in the 1600s, when people were wary of diseases travelling by ship. When a ship arriving in port was suspected of being infected, it had to forego contact with the shore for a period of about 40 days. They would just float around for that period of time before coming in. 


The word hazard comes from the Arabic "al zahr" which means "the dice". 

The term came to be associated with dice during the Crusades and eventually took on a negative connotation because games of dice were associated with gambling.


The word disaster comes from the Greek "dis" meaning bad, and "aster", meaning star. The ancient Greeks used to blame tragedies on unfavorable planetary positions, hence "bad" "stars". 


The word lemur comes from a Latin word that means "spirit of the dead". The person that named them was influenced by their nocturnal nature. 


An Ultracrepidarian is a person who gives opinions beyond his area of expertise. It's a great one to whip out at a party. 

The story behind the word goes like this...

In ancient Greece there was a renowned painter named Apelles. He was a little bit cocky, and sought out validation (don't we all) from others, so he used to display his paintings, then hide behind them to listen to the comments. 

One time, a cobbler pointed out that the sole of the shoe was not painted correctly. Apelles fixed it. Encouraged by this, the cobbler began offering comments about other parts of the painting. At this point the painter cut him off with Ne sutor ultra crepidam meaning Shoemaker, not above the sandal meaning: one should stick to ones area of expertise.


The word "nice" comes from a Latin word meaning "ignorant".


Not a specific word, but rather a whole group of words. Consider that we call many animals by a different name than the food from them. 

Cow = Beef. 

Pig = Pork. 

Chicken = Poultry. 

Deer = Venison.

This can be traced back to the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century, when the French came and took the crown. When the dust settled, England had French nobility ruling over peasantry with Germanic origins. As a result, the languages used were a mish-mash of French and Germanic.

What does this have to do with food? The peasantry raised the animals, so the names of the animals have Germanic origins. Cow from cou, pig from picbred, deer from dier or tier. Although they raised the animals, it was the nobility who ate the majority of them, so the words for the food come from French. Pork from Porc, Beef from Boeuf, Venison from Venesoun.

Obviously this doesn't hold true for all foods, especially those from the New World (which was many centuries after the Norman Conquest). And modern language has begun to eliminate some of the usages (such as calling the meat chicken instead of poultry).

Thanks to Etymologist SJHillman for contributing!

Tragedy comes from the Greek word "tragodia" which means "song of the male goat".

Although there is no consensus as to how this came to be, there are a few theories. Here are the primary ones from the Oxford English Dictionary: 

One is that Greek tragedies were known as goat-songs because the prize in Athenian play competitions was a live goat. The contests were part of worship to Dionysus, involving chants and dances in his honour. The Romans knew Dionysus later as Bacchus, god of all things bacchanalian: in other words he freed people from their normal self through madness, wine, and ecstasy.

Sometimes the goat would be sacrificed, and a goat lament sung as the sacrifice was made. Hence the goat-song became intertwined with the Greek plays.

Others believe that in the plays themselves men and women would wear goat-costumes to dress up as satyrs—half-goat beings that worshipped and surrounded Dionysus in his revelry.

But by far my favourite suggestion is one that was offered in the Guardians celebrated Notes & Queries section. In answer to why the word tragedy comes from a word for goat-song, a Mr Marcus Roome of Clapton in London wrote simply: Have you ever heard a goat sing?.


Before the invention of guttering, roofs were made with wide eaves, overhangs, so that rain water would fall away from the house to stop the walls and foundations being damaged. This area was known as the eavesdrop. 

The large overhang gave good cover for those who wished to lurk in shadows and listen to others conversations. Since the area under the eaves was considered part of the householders property, you could be fined under Anglo-Saxon law for being under the eaves with the intention of spying.

Hence the word, eavesdropping!

Thanks to Etymologist Kelderm2 for contributing!

Pumpernickel is a dark rye bread originating from Germany. Originally, the word pumpernickel was an abusive nickname for a dumb person, originating from "pumpern" meaning, to fart, and "nickel", meaning goblin, lout, or rascal.  

An earlier German name for pumpernickel bread was krankbrot, which translated to "sick-bread."

But as of now, the bread translates to farting goblin. 

Enjoy that fact the next time you eat it! 


The word "sinister" comes from the Latin word (also "sinister") meaning left. This is because left-handed people were blamed for being cowards, evil, and demons. You know, because obviously your dominant hand is a true sign of evil. 


The word dunce, meaning idiot, comes from the name of Johannes Duns Scotus, a medieval philosopher and theologian who was really caught up in the battle that raged over the status of universals. He was a really good arguer, so spiteful trolls from long ago, who couldn't face him in the court of logic, just turned his name into a pejorative and fought him in the court of public opinion.

After he had been dead for 200 years.

That's how much that guy ruled. I personally don't agree with his views on the metaphysical status of universals, but I have to admit that it's pretty baller that people are so afraid of your logic and argumentative skills that it inspires this kind of response.

Thanks to Etymologist logos__ for contributing!

Pretty much every modern Christian holiday (and many holidays from other religions as well) correspond to Pagan holidays, and Valentine's day is no different. 

Ancient Romans had a similar holiday, called Lupercalia, that took place from February 13 to 15. Christians felt left out so they created their own version. 

One of the main things celebrated and encouraged at the Lupercalia festival was fertility. Obviously, the best way to make girls more fertile is for men to run around naked, swatting virgins with goat-skin thongs (strips of leather) - called februa

And that's why we call the month February. 

This fact isn't totally confirmed, but it's a hilarious theory on the origin of the word. 


You probably use this word at least once a week, but have you ever bothered to look up the origin? Look no further, because we've got you covered...

In Ancient Rome, the mint (the place where all the money was kept) was in a temple of Juno on the Capitoline hill. At one point or other, a group of people were going to attack Rome. As they were coming up the hill, the geese who lived there started squawking, and alerted everyone to the fact that they were being attacked. The Romans believed that Juno had sent them this warning, and because of this, the temple became the temple of Juno Moneta - Juno the Warner. So, the word "money" comes from the word monre - to warn.


You probably know this word to mean something along the lines of a perfect paradise. 

Well, it actually comes from the Greek , meaning "not," and , meaning "place," because a utopia is an impossible place - something that couldn't exist. 

As for the word dystopia, it just means a bad utopia. The word was coined after "utopia" by John Stuart Mill and based directly on it.

Source & Source

The word shambles has a very confusing backstory. 

The Latin word it's derived from, scamillus just means a little stool or bench. 

"Shambles" originally meant a stool as well. 

The word then came to mean, more specifically, a stool or stall where things were sold. 

Then, a stall where meat was sold. 

Eventually, a meatmarket. 

Then, a slaughterhouse. 

Eventually, "shambles" just came to mean a bloody mess. (That was a pun - "shambles" now just means something along the lines of "a scene of destruction.")

So, there you have it! Shambles!

Thanks to Etymologist camelopardalisx for contributing!

The word lunatic derives from the Latin word "luna" meaning "moon". This was because people believed that insanity was caused by changes in the moon. 


The word dinosaur comes from a comes from two words, first the Greek , meaning "terrible, awesome, mighty, fearfully great." 

Second, , meaning lizard. 

So, a big ol' scary lizard.


This word origin is hilarious! The word itself means "the estimation of something as worthless or valueless," but it comes from four Latin words that all mean the same thingfloccinaucinihili, and pili - all meaning something like "at little value" or "for nothing." Total absurdity.


Okay, get ready to get a little scandalous with this one! 

Today, lots of people use the word vanilla to mean something that's kind of boring or bland, (or, you know, the flavor), but after you get a load of it's origin, you might not be able to think that way ever again. 

The word vanilla comes from the Latin word vagina! Vagina in Latin means sheath, and another meaning for the word sheath is the husk of a plant. 

Vagina becomes Spanish vaina, also meaning "sheath," which becomes the diminutive form vainilla, meaning "vanilla plant." If you're confused, take a look at this picture and you'll see where they grabbed the inspiration...


Camelopardalis is a Latin word and it's origin is pretty hilarious. 

The word camelopardalis is just Latin for "giraffe." But it's a portmanteau of two other words (meaning they just took two words and smushed them together). Can you guess which words they smushed together? 

Camelus, meaning "camel," 

and pardalis, meaning "panther." 

Why? Because the ancient Romans and Greeks thought a giraffe looked like a cross between a camel and a panther. I'm not exactly sure how, though. 


This isn't exactly an English word, but it's a rather unexpected cross-family connection.

Now, as you may know, English is a member of the Indo-European language family, which includes languages from Icelandic to Bengali. Japanese, however, is not, and is most likely unrelated to any other language on Earth.

Check this out, though: The Japanese word (well, maybe it's a bound morpheme) for 'honey' is , typically3pronounced as , or mitsu.

Then, there's this English word, 'mead', which is a alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey. Now, 'mead' and 'mitsu' certainly sound similar, but to imagine that they are in any way related is surely a stretch of the imagination.

Turns out, they're cognates! That is, they come from the same root. How, you ask? Well, English 'mead' comes from Old English medu, from Proto-Germanic *meduz, still referring to mead. This, in turn, came from Proto-Indo-European *mdu, one of two4 words in PIE meaning 'honey'.

Japenese mitsu is a borrowing from Middle Chinese *mjit (preserved in plenty of modern Chinese languages, e.g. Mandarin  m) which was borrowed from one of the freakin' Tocharian languages, which are an extinct group of Indo-European languages that were spoken in the Tarim Basin in modern Xinjiang, China. 'Honey' in Tocharian B, for example, was mit. This came from Proto-Tocharian *t() from, you guessed it, Proto-Indo-European *mdu.

Thanks to Etymologist canineraytube for contributing this!

The word "sardonic" comes from a sardonia mushroom. It was fabled that if you ate it, it caused facial convulsions resembling those of sardonic laughter, usually followed by death, bringing the meaning of sardonic humor to a whole new level.


The words "candidate" and "candid" both come from the Latin "candidus", meaning bright white. Why is this, you ask?

Well, way back in the day, orators and high-ranking Roman politicians would wear very clean, white togas when speaking to crowds to try to convey a sense of trustworthiness. Thus, the English word "candid's" modern definition of honest or trustworthy ties back to the perceived honesty of politicians. Kinda funny when you look at politicians today.


We often use the words "uppercase" and "lowercase" to denote which kinds of letters we're using, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself what these terms actually mean? 

The words come from the way in which print shops were organized hundreds of years ago. Individual pieces of metal type were kept in boxes called cases. The smaller letters, which were used most often, were kept in lower cases that were easier to reach. The bigger letters were, as you have probably already guessed, kept in the upper cases. 


Not many people realize that the term "Nazi" it was a label long before the National Socialists came to power.

You see, lots of Bavarian farmers were Catholics. Lots of Catholics named their children after Saint Ignatius. So, lots of people called Ignatius came to be viewed as "dumb country folk" (which, by the way, is an insult that came from English peasant farmers named Richard). And Igantius ("Ignazius" in German pronunciation) is shortened to 'Nazi'.

Calling the National Socialists Nazis is a bit like calling (a made up political party) the 'Red States for the Next America' the 'RedNex'.


Thank you for reading! 

People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.