Word Play Wednesday – 01/09/2019


Currently cryptocurrency cryptically encrypts current.

crypt (n.)

early 15c., cripte, “grotto, cavern,” from Latin crypta “vault, cavern,” from Greek krypte “a vault, crypt” (short for krypte kamara “hidden vault”), fem. of kryptos “hidden,” verbal adjective from kryptein “to hide,” which is of uncertain origin.


before vowels crypt-, word-forming element meaning “secret” or “hidden, not evident or obvious,” used in forming English words at least since 1760 (crypto-Calvinianism), from Latinized form of Greek kryptos “hidden, concealed, secret” (see crypt; the Greek combining form was krypho-).

In 19c. often of secret religious faith; from 1870s in scientific words; since c. 1945 typically of hidden political loyalties. Crypto-fascist is attested from 1937; crypto-communist from 1946. Hence, as an abstracted noun, crypto “person who conceals a political adherence” (1946).


(adj.)1630s, “hidden, occult, mystical,” from Late Latin crypticus, from Greek kryptikos “fit for concealing,” from kryptos “hidden” (see crypt). Meaning “mysterious, enigmatic” is attested by 1920.

current (n.)

late 14c., curraunt, “that which runs or flows,” from Old French corant (Modern French courant), from Old French corant (see current (adj.)). Meaning “a flowing,” especially “portion of a large body of water or air moving in a certain direction,” is from 1550s. Applied from 1747 to the flowing of electrical force through a conducting body (electricity formerly was regarded as a sort of fluid).

current (adj.)

c. 1300, curraunt, “running, flowing, moving along” (a sense now archaic), from Old French corant “running, lively, eager, swift,” present participle of corre “to run,” from Latin currere “to run, move quickly” (of persons or things), from PIE root *kers- “to run.” Related: Currentness.

Sense of “presently in effect” is from mid-15c. Meaning “prevalent, generally reported or known” is from 1560s; that of “established by common consent” is from 1590s; that of “now passing, present now, in progress” is from c. 1600. Of money, “passing from one person to another,” late 15c. Current events is attested from 1795; current affairs by 1776.

currency (n.)

1650s, “condition of flowing,” a sense now rare or obsolete, from Latin currens, present participle of currere “to run” (from PIE root *kers- “to run”). The notion of “state or fact of flowing from person to person” led to the senses “continuity in public knowledge” (1722) and “that which is current as a medium of exchange, money” (1729).

SOURCE: https://www.etymonline.com/

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