Word of the Week: Earworm … It’s Not What You Think!

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Once again, I would like to apologize for my blogging absence yesterday. It was my first full day back from school, which I hoped would mean some time to recline and relax, but it ended up being hours of unpacking, cleaning and going to work. Welcome to my summer ^_^

So, there is a very high chance that I will not only neglect to post some days, but they also may come very late in the day, which I suppose isn’t a problem for all of you night owls out there. I’m sure I am not the only one who switches on their reading light once the sun goes down and curls up in bed with a good book.

That said, it’s time to present today’s word of the week, brought to you by Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary.

earworm-300x246

This word was added to the dictionary back in 2012 as an official word. It does not mean what you’re thinking, assuming that you think it’s an actual worm located within your ear. It’s actually a term which is similar to ‘bookworm’, which is someone who devotes themselves to reading. Not everyone is a bookworm, but everyone can develop an earworm. You know that time when you heard this really annoying song that you never wanted to hear again – for me, it was Friday by Rebbecca Black – but not matter what you did the tune would keep playing itself over and over again in your head? That’s would be an earworm for you. To be more specific, it’s a song which plays repeatedly in your mind, as though the song has bored its way into your brain! Sorry for the gruesome imagery, but I think you get the picture 🙂

Even though this term has only recently found its way into Webster’s dictionary, it has been suggested that the word itself has been around for much longer. This is just what I have read other people say, but I lack the proof to state it as a fact … which is where you guys come in! If you have a research fetish, and find the topic of word origins to be of interest, then I would encourage you to see what you can find out about earworms and where they came from. Leave your findings in the comments, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

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2 thoughts on “Word of the Week: Earworm … It’s Not What You Think!

  1. The term has been around in Germany at least since the 1980s, since I grew up with it. It’s called “Ohrwurm” here, which (according to my mum) comes from the same named worms her grandma told her would love to crawl into her ear… so it seems to stem from some sort of folk belief…

    It seems to have been exported to a number of other languages. I know that they call it “oorwurm” in dutch…

  2. How fascinating! I knew the word had most likely been around for some time, but it’s not exactly a term which comes up in everyday speech. Thank you very much for this brief yet insightful piece of history 🙂

    BookNerd

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