Etymology like a boss

As some of you may have noticed, our boat is named Wake.  Hey, that word means more than one thing at once!  And that’s why we’re here to drink explore its meanings and history, and what the shit that might mean to us.

So, as a verb (that’s the activity kind!), to wake derives from a Middle English fusion of Old English wacan, meaning “to become awake, arise, be born, originate”, and Old English wacian, “to be or remain awake”, both emerging from the proto-Germanic waken, which in turn finds its origins in the proto-Indo-European root *weg-, “to be strong or lively”.  Do you ever just read this crap and wonder how goddamn weird ancient people sounded when they spoke?

the olde warrior
© Bodleian Library, Oxford


So if we’re getting all metaphorical up in here, the boat could represent a kind of awakening which is:

  1. Intellectual
  2. Spiritual
  3. Emotional
  4. Hungover

Fill in the bubble entirely; answers will be graded after class.

Years spent making the calculator spell out BOOBS
So many years spent making the calculator spell out BOOBS


But as a noun, a wake can denote “the track left by a moving ship”, first attested in the 1540s and perhaps taken from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch wake, “a hole in ice”, from proto-Germanic *wakwo.  Is wake then a literal reference to what the boat actually does?  Fuck if we’re going to be sailing through any ice, though.

Please draw a wake here:

Don’t screw this up, it will appear on your transcript


Or a wake may indicate the act of “sitting up at night with a corpse”, which is either really Irish or really hardcore.  This usage dates from the early 15th century, though there’s also an obsolete Scottish rendition, lichwake (why are we no longer using this word?).  It’s not necessarily all bad, though, as it’s meant also to celebrate the memory of what is lost and loved.   Or it’s just spooky, how should I know.

Holy crap, you woke up
Dude, how long have you been awake???


Thus, if we are to persist in our really smart analyses of the word, the boat’s name touches upon the notions of death and mourning in order to remind us of: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

Please use complete sentences; spelling and grammar errors will be recognized as consequences of the irrevocable transience of humankind.  Essays due at the Apocalypse.

The final judgement
Behold, for the great day of Wrath hast come

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