[ Issue 14 ]

The word 'berk' is a particular interest of Emily Bronto

Let Bikwil introduce you to the word 'sincere'

The Word "Sincere"

R.K. Sadler provides a note on the derivation of the word "sincere".  This is the first in an occasional series called Interesting Origins.

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Interesting Origins — R.K. Sadler


The word “sincere” has a very interesting derivation. It comes from the Latin sine cera, which means “without wax”. You surely wonder what “without wax” has to do with “sincerity” and the answer is quite a simple one.

When the dishonest potters in ancient times had a crack or flaw in the pots they made, they filled the cracks in with wax and painted over them. Naturally as soon as the new owner brought heat near the wax, it melted and the crack was exposed.

Thus when we finish our letters by writing “Yours sincerely” we are really stating that there is no deception in our letter, or to go back to ancient times, there is no wax that will melt.

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