Word Nerd: Amusing Antidote

inigo-anecdoteHere’s another Word Nerd pair that turns up with alarming regularity; is it possible that some people don’t know they are two different words?

Anecdote: A short story of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature.

Antidote: Medication to counteract a poison.

anecdoteAntidote first shows up in English around 1500; it came from the Middle French antidot, which comes directly from the Latin antidotum, which comes from the Greek antidoton, meaning “to give against,” from anti- “against” and didonai “to give.”

Anecdote is from the late 1600s, also by way of France, and also derived from Greek; it translates to “things unpublished” (referring especially to Procopius’ unpublished memoirs of Justinian and Theodora). Anékdotos comes from  an- meaning “not” plus ék meaning “out” and dotos, “to give,” an-ek-dotos literally means “not given out.”

If you share an amusing antidote, you’re passing around medication.

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