Tagged: Etymology

Wicked! - Guest Work

Jean Balchin Jan 16, 2018

Wandering home one evening from a particularly long day at university, I was almost run over by a pair of tousle-headed, half-washed, hoodie-wearing skateboarders, racing pell-mell down Castle St. Indignantly extracting myself from a rather thorny hedge, I caught a snippet of their conversation: “Your new board is wicked, man!” Was the skateboard in question an evil or nefarious sentient … Read More

What makes wetlands wet lands? - Waiology

Waiology Feb 04, 2013

By Daniel Collins The simple answer is, of course, water. But that says little about the natural history of wetlands, or what physical conditions are necessary to maintain, restore or even engineer them. For that, we need to take a closer look at wetland hydrology. Wetlands are tracts of land that are water-logged at least seasonally. They may be spongy … Read More

Kinky relationships among Canterbury’s springs - Waiology

Waiology Jan 23, 2012

By Daniel Collins As Ross mentioned some time ago, one of the frontiers of hydrological research at present is the interface between surface water and groundwater. On the one hand, we need to understand how aquifers are recharged from the surface; on the other, how aquifers in turn discharge water back to the surface. This is important to … Read More

The low down on groundwater - Waiology

Waiology Nov 10, 2011

By Daniel Collins Several posts back I reported on a public perceptions survey that showed that New Zealanders seem to know less about groundwater and wetlands than about rivers and lakes. (Hydrogeologist Michael Campana, OSU, lamented a similar bias towards surface waters among US and international water resource management circles.) I expect this is because rivers and lakes … Read More

HydroEtymology: Aquifer, infer - Crikey Creek

Daniel Collins Apr 07, 2010

The first known instance of ‘aquifer’ dates to a 1901 Science article: “The artesian system shows four or five aquifers, or water-bearing strata, more or less completely separated from one another.” ‘Aquifer’ is a combination of the Latin ‘aqui-‘ meaning ‘water’, and ‘-fer’ meaning ‘bearing’ (from the Latin verb ‘ferre’). ‘Ferre’ is also the origin of the English … Read More

Introducing a new series: HydroEtymology - Crikey Creek

Daniel Collins Mar 29, 2010

Words are historical archives of how people perceived the world, or their place in the world. They are products of evolution. Just as we can analyse an organism’s anatomy for clues of its evolutionary ancestor’s habitats and behaviour, a word’s etymology can give us clues of what was going on around people as the word developed, and thus what they … Read More