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.
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.
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 thing: flocci, nauci, nihili, 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!
I don't see the appeal of these rooms.
Why would one enjoy being trapped in a room?
When you watch people trapped in a movie you cheer for their release.
But this activity has gotten super popular.
And people have gotten real creative in their escapes.
Redditor CaptainCatButt wanted to hear confessions from the great escapes. They asked:
"Escape Room employees, what's the weirdest way you've seen customers try and solve an escape room?"
I haven't tried these rooms yet. Not sure I want to. Highly claustrophobic. Convince me...
"I used to work at one. I can’t tell you how many people thought that power outlets were a prop and tried to stick keys into them. Guys. There was a lamp plugged into it and a 'do not touch, not a part of the game' sticker on it. It’s not a trick, don’t do that."
"A friend of mine works for an escape room and he told me one about a puzzle where the key to the next door was shackled to a desk by a combination lock. What you are supposed to do is figure out the combination for the lock from the clues around the room to free the key. What one group decided to do instead was get a guy on each corner and pick up the 150 pound desk and carry it across the room, slide the key into the lock, and then rotate the entire desk to unlock the door."
"I am not an escape room employee but I did a lot of em and talked to the employees often. One of them told me there was a simple lock (opened by a key) that had 'Yale' written on it (the name of the lock company) and a lady (not native English speaker) thought it read 'yell' and legit shouted 'OPEN!!' at it, expecting it to open."
searching the fountain...
"Recently went to an escape room with my co-workers. Before we started, we were explicitly warned not to touch or drink the bright blue water coming out of a fountain because it would turn our skin blue - clearly people had tried searching the fountain as part of the escape room previously and now they have to warn everyone."
Voice of GodWhos That Voice Of God GIF by Shark WeekGiphy
"I was in an escape room once where one puzzle involved some objects that needed to be manipulated inside a structure that made it very awkward."
"We were all looking at it trying to figure out how to proceed when I said 'Well, the bottom is held on with screws and I have a screwdriver in my purse, but that would probably be cheating.' Instantly the Voice of God came over the intercom 'THAT WOULD BE CHEATING!' So we didn't do that..."
Well people really do get creative at this game... don't they?
"Had a group of engineers who were familiar with the style of the lock effectively reverse engineer the lock. They showed us how they did it afterwards."
"When I was in one they told us several times that the fire extinguisher is NOT part of the puzzle. They said it so many times, I'm 98% sure someone once used it lol."
"I always wait to see if they say not to disassemble smoke detectors, if they have that warning, I ask about it, and every time they will always have a story about a dumby who ignored the warning labels and disassembled the smoke detector."
Group of 4
"There was a story on here a while ago about a guy in a group of four who took a broom from the first room because 'it had to be for something.' He said it looked too out of place to not be needed. Well he was half right. It was out of place but that's because it was the broom used by employees to clean the room."
"It was simply forgotten when they cleaned last time. The guys giving hints thought it was hilarious that this guy carried a broom through four rooms expecting it to be the key to their escape at some point. I thought that was funny as hell."
"Take in a screwdriver and dismantling furniture or taking doors off hinges... all the while we specifically tell them not to use force and that furniture is just furniture. Though I don't care cause they gotta pay the damages. Also had some groups press our panic button cause that opens all the doors (for emergency cases)."
"So they can skip puzzles and be faster. Makes zero sense to us cause they are paying for an hour of playtime and to solve puzzles, not like the prize is reduced cause you solved less in fewer minutes. Especially since our prices aren't cheap."
IdiotsIdiot Facepalm GIFGiphy
"Breaking EVERYTHING. Trying to eat or drink things they should totally not be trying to eat or drink."
Even though there are a million ways to escape, I'm still gonna pass. My claustrophobia won't allow it.
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Different cultures are fascinating and add color to our world.
While many cultures should be celebrated, there are some individuals who just can't help but reserve their opinions about those whose behavior and customs differ vastly from their own.
At the risk of coming off as offensive, some might even call these customs, "weird."
European culture got the spotlight when Redditor CoffeeBoy88 asked:
"What is something weird about Europe that Europeans don’t realize is weird?"
Apparently, there's never a dull moment in European nations.
"German tourists are OBSESSED with mooses."
"The UK has 30 accents per square mile. And if a large man calls you duck in Stoke … that’s okay."
"Norwegians don't close their curtains when it gets dark."
"The amount of mosquitos in Finland, Americans go crazy in Spring because of it."
Redditors discuss what it's like traveling around Europe.
Come And Go As You Please
"How incredibly inconsequential it is to cross country borders. Cycled through France - Belgium - Netherlands and there is barely even a sign."
"You drive five hours in the US: you’re basically still in the same place."
"You drive five hours in Europe: everyone’s talking funny and the cheese is different."
The Short Commute
"The first time I was in the UK my husband wanted to go to Wales and I looked at the train route from London and was like 'It’s all the way on the other side of the country! We’re only in the UK for a week. We don’t have that kind of time!' And my husband was all, 'you know it’s a 2.5 hour train ride, right?' I thought it would all day."
Germans In Transport
"the absolute lack of air conditioning even at 40°, german transport gets sticky and stinky quite fast and nobody seems to care, many people even shut the windows to avoid the 'annoying breeze.'"
Maintaining distance was a thing long before pandemic measures recommended people to be socially distanced.
All About Respect
"Finnish people are silent, small talk doesn't exist. Their personal space larger than COVID-19 social distancing rules, and it's considered normal. Don't speak unless spoken to, and don't invade other people's personal space - it's seen as a sign of a respect."
"Those Finns, who haven't been to abroad or haven't met too many foreigners, don't often even recognize this behaviour being unusual in the global scale."
The "Safety Coffee Cup"
"I'm from Finland and one European thing that all Finnish people hate is cheek kisses when greeting. Its mostly southern european thing but still. There is this saying in Finland that goes 'Everyone has their own safety coffee cup' meaning the closest distance someone should get to you should not be closer than your coffee cup when you're holding it."
Let Them Shop In Peace
"Weird at first but I appreciate and wish for it. It might be just a Germany thing but from what I’ve been told German Walmart failed because the North American style of customer service was very unliked. From the greeter at the door to clerks asking if you need help unprompted. German shoppers just want to shop and go home as undisturbed as possible."
I remember being weirded out when I went to Paris and asked for some ice at a cafe.
The waiter served me coke by opening the room temperature can and poured some of the contents into an empty glass. With no ice.
When the server came back, he had with him a spoon with one ice cube on it. I thought it was stingy but it got worse.
He poured the rest of the coke over the ice on the spoon he was holding and then walked away with the ice and spoon.
I guess the coke was colder than when I had my first sip, so according to the server, it was viola: mission accomplished!
Do the French not like ice-cold beverages? Weird.
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Just because a therapist is there to expertly evaluate our emotional challenges throughout many of life's adversities and crises, it doesn't mean they always hold it together.
People tend to forget that therapists–the professional we seek for guidance when we're vulnerable–are also human and are just as prone to feeling the feels.
Curious to hear from therapists who've exposed their emotional vulnerabilities in front of their clients opened up when Redditor Unkw0n_pers0n asked:
"Therapist that have cried in a session, why?"
A patient who feels seen and understood reinforces why therapists endeavor to help people in the first place.
It Wasn't Her Fault
"I was working with a deeply depressed client who had a lot of negative self talk about how she was always a failure. We were exploring the origins of this and how young she was the first time she felt self-blame. She told me her earliest story of when she was in 2nd grade."
"Afterwards, as we were processing it, I expressed that 'it wasn't your fault' about the story. She just broke down sobbing and said 'nobody has ever said that to me before' in between sobs. It hit me and I cried a little."
"i cried after i worked with a kid who described an emotionally difficult situation with a sibling. the kid’s experience aligned very similarly to something i went through with my own sibling when i was the kid’s age and i hadn’t realized how much hurt i was carrying from the experience."
"being a therapist sometimes means being confronted with things you didn’t realize had such a strong impact on you. luckily, i have a stellar therapist of my own that i can work through these moments with."
The Patient With A Disorder
"I was doing a cognitive assessment for a girl. We were doing tests and at one point she started crying she was unable to tell me why, she was fine just one moment before. I let her collect her thoughts, then she said softly 'I don't want to be more stupid than my friends'. She wasn't actually, she was very bright, but she didn't know that she has dyslexia, dysorthograpy AND dyscalculia. I realized that she went through THIRTEEN years of school without help. Her parents didn't want to do an assessment as they thought she was just lazy. I told her that she was very brave to decide to get help and things would get better after our assessment and I felt tears in my eyes."
"Edit: first of all, I have great empathy for parents, for most of all is just a matter of ignorance, fear and parenting is hard. If you are a parent and you see your kid struggling, PLEASE listen to professionists, we are here to help, not judge, and we will find ways to help you and your kid. Disorders don't go away, don't underestimate it, the sooner you get help, the better the outcome can be. It's ok to be scared but we're here for you and we understand you."
"Second, I'm really sorry to read so many heartbreaking stories about people that weren't believed and struggled being undiagnosed. I wish you all the best, I hope you are in a better situation and you got or you'll get all the help you deserve, because you do deserve it."
"Third, if you think 'something's wrong with me', get help if you are in a position to do so. Worst case you understand yourself better and have a chance do make peace with parts of yourself."
A patient who has already accepted their heartbreaking fate recalls seeing their therapist getting emotionally involved during a session.
A Mother Who Didn't Want To Let Go
"My therapist cried while 'mediating' a discussion between my mom and I. I have a neurodegenerative disease and she is my full time caregiver. Because of my severe disability, she also has legal guardianship of me, even though I am in my 20’s (this is all fine with me, I need the help, and I agreed in court to all of it. This was the first true 'disagreement' that we ever had.)"
"I am ready to die. I am in pain, unable to do anything for myself, and it’s only getting worse. I asked my mom to sign a DNR, because I have been resuscitated before, it was a mess, and I don’t want it to happen again."
"She refused. She doesn’t want to lose her child and wanted to do everything medically possible to keep me alive."
"The session was essentially me begging her to let me go, while she sobbed and said she could never sign a paper that would lead to my death. It was a terrible situation. No one was 'the bad guy', no one was trying to hurt the other. It was someone wanting their suffering to end, verses a mother not wanting to lose her child."
"My therapist agreed that I should be allowed to make this choice, but certainly didn’t think my mom was manipulative or evil, just already grieving and trying to hold on to me as long as possible. I saw her wipe her eyes several times, and they were red by the time we were done. She actually hugged us both at the end."
"The situation wasn’t resolved during the session, but my mom came around shortly after. She wouldn’t sign the DNR, but gave me legal permission to do so (so, in her mind, it wasn’t her making the final decision.)"
"BTW, my mom and I have a GREAT relationship! This was just one issue that we couldn’t come to an agreement on ourselves. But it worked out, and I’m now in palliative care and have a great team looking after me, INCLUDING my mom!"
The following examples continue to demonstrate how therapists are more emotionally invested in their patients and clients than you think.
Responding To Tragic News
"I cried in a substance treatment group. A client’s mom had reached out via email to me to say that her daughter died from an OD. She called during my group so I chose to take the call and spoke with her briefly. I thought I could continue with the group. Ended up in tears instead."
She Patient Who Felt Unloved
"My patient cried and said 'there's nobody on this planet who loves me anymore.' I cried when I left because I knew she was right. For context: she was 95, her husband and son had died, she had a personality disorder that made her behaviour unbearable for her environment after her husband died and every person still in her life were paid for to be around her. She died a few months after this conversation."
It is unsurprising that therapists are compassionate people.
Otherwise, they wouldn't be in the room to help someone who is struggling internally.
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Much of the nation continues to reel from the news that a leaked draft opinion indicated the Supreme Court's ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization will move to strike down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that protects a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.
Many people remember what it was like in the days before women could seek an abortion; many innocent women died in the absence of proper medical care or were forced to birth children they could not afford, trapping them in poverty.
But could a ruling overturning Roe v. Wade signal the loss of other rights in the future, especially those decided on the right to privacy, on which Roe was hinged?
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor thisiscubes asked the online community,
"Americans of Reddit, what are your thoughts on Roe v. Wade being overturned by SCOTUS as per draft reports?"
"It was the single most traumatizing..."
"I used to be pro-life for the most part but felt abortion was necessary in certain situations (i.e. rape, incest, whatever). I thought I would have never had an abortion myself. I thought I could always give up the baby for adoption."
"Until I gave birth last month. It was the single most traumatizing experience I've ever gone through. I'm healthy and my pregnancy was not complicated but my heart stopped working after getting an epidural. I coded."
"Once they got me stabilized again, my baby then starting decompensating. They literally had to rip him out of me because I was too far along to convert to C-section."
"I still can't control feces leaking out of me, even 6 weeks later. What a quality of life improvement /s."
"I wanted this child so having my body absolutely wrecked for the safety of my child seemed worth it, despite the pain and complications I experienced from it."
"But now, having gone through that, I cannot imagine any woman being FORCED to go through what I went through. Against their will. So I’m pretty pro choice now."
We are so sorry you had to go through that. We agree that giving birth can be harmful and traumatic, even for a wanted child, and no woman should have to go through that.
"I am currently..."
"I am currently in an OB triage hospital room waiting for a shot of methotrexate, which is considered an abortion."
"This pregnancy was so wanted. I had a miscarriage in February. I wanted this baby. But it is ectopic and it will kill me. And I am still crying so hard."
"My doctors have been amazing and caring and made this process so much easier. F*ck anyone who thinks the legal system needs to be involved here."
We are so sorry you have to go through that. It’s none of the government’s business.
"Roe wasn't the start of abortions. It was the end of women dying from abortion."
We can't clap enough for this one.
"Get our your wallets..."
"You think our social services are overwhelmed now. Get out your wallets because there is about to be a generation of babies born where moms won't have the means to feed, clothe, and care for them."
Sadly, this is all too true. It is a crisis in the making.
"My cousin had to terminate..."
"I had an abortion at 21 that saved my life. It was a terrifying and isolating experience, and the best decision I have ever made."
"My cousin had to terminate her pregnancy in the second trimester due to the fact that the fetus developed without a brain. She described the care she received as what kept her alive through her grief."
"If abortion was not an option, she would have had to carry to term."
I’m sick to my stomach over this. Women, especially women of color, are going to die."
Sadly, the statistics are on your side on this. Many women, especially women of color, are going to die, and many children will grow up impoverished.
"Scared. I work with survivors of sexual violence. I am a survivor myself. I, and many other folks, have had our bodily autonomy stolen from us before. To see it on a federal level is horrifying."
It is indeed frightening and survivors of sexual violence no doubt feel victimized alll over again.
"My daughter will never have..."
"As a woman, I will be legally lesser than males because I have a womb. My daughter will never have full autonomy over her body. Intersectionally speaking, women of color and under resourced women will bear the brunt of this. Nothing will change for white women of means."
White women of means can fly wherever they wish and get an abortion there. That will never change.
"The foster care system is proof the government doesn’t care about unwanted children yet want to force more to be born. It’s all politics though guarantee if any of them ever got in a sticky situation illegal or not an abortion will be had available."
The United States' welfare system is also awful and that seems to be by design.
"My wife had a miscarriage last year. Because we were well past the point of most miscarriages (not quite to the stillbirth cutoff, but not far away), we were told the odds of my wife passing the fetus on her own were slim and that surgery was the safest option."
"We were required by law to acknowledge in writing that the procedure would terminate the (dead) fetus and that it came at risk of infertility and death. Our doctor was required to tell us the developmental age of the (dead) fetus and which developmental milestones occur around that time, as well as offer us an ultrasound to see the (dead) fetus."
"We cried the entire time. We desperately wanted this child. Our doctor cried, apologizing every step of the way that we had to go through this insensitive BS on top of losing the pregnancy."
"This fetus was dead in every sense of the word but because the procedure in question is also used for abortions we had to jump through these goddamn hoops to avoid putting my wife's health at risk."
"And it's not like my state doesn't offer alternatives for nonviable fetuses, conception due to rape or incest, or instances where health is at serious risk. This WAS the alternative. If we were actually getting an elective abortion it would have been significantly more time consuming and soul-crushing. You literally have to take an online course."
"Abortion access in this country is already a joke. All this is going to do is get people killed."
This is a heartbreaking story and we are sorry that you and your wife had to go through that.
As you can see, overturning Roe v. Wade has significant consequences. While the actual opinion will not be released until the summer, it's safe to say that the United States is entering a new era and that an entirely new wave of activism has begun.
Have some thoughts of your own? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!
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