Fun etymology fact!

…and if you think I’m a dork for saying “fun etymology fact,” just remember that some poor kid has to grow up dealing with me as his father.


“Potion” and “poison” have different connotations. “Potion” tends to be positive, as in “love potion” and “healing potion,” whereas “poison,” of course, has a negative connotation.

Despite these opposing meanings, the two words sound similar, and they both convey the idea of (possibly) drinking something. As it turns out, this is not a coincidence. Both words come to English via French, ultimately deriving from the Latin verb “potare,” meaning “to drink.”

In particular, Merriam-Webster tells me, they derive from the past participle form of “potare,” which is — wait for it — “potus.”

POTUS is, of course, also the abbreviation for President of the United States. The official presidential Twitter account is @POTUS.

Potion, poison, POTUS. Seems appropriate somehow, doesn’t it?


2 responses to “Fun etymology fact!

  1. Fun etymology facts are the best! 😀

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