October 19, 2013


Dictionary.com is my friend.

To be quite honest before the internet, I always carried a dictionary and a thesaurus (in my little bag of pencils and pastels). Here next to me is my mostest, bestest book ever, an Etymology Dictionary. 

I am putting all these tools to work today!

For about 24 hours the concept of "trust" has been battering my brain.  How does one build trust and when it's stretched, or gone, does it ever return or does it keep one foot out the door. Maybe it comes all the way back in but finds a little room in your heart with an open window for a fast escape.

Is there such a thing as unconditional trust? 

If you are one of those brave few who know unconditional trust, may your trust remain unbroken.

Dictionary.com defines trust as a noun meaning "reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence...confident expectation of something; hope...a person on whom or thing on which one relies...the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted".

Trust is also an adjective, a legal element, which we are going to ignore today, because, quite frankly, my blog, my rules!

Moving on, "trust" becomes a verb. Words are really quite diversified when you think about it. "To rely upon or have confidence in someone or something; to believe."

Apparently the word "trust" first shows up around 1200, developing from the Old Norse word "traust" which meant "confidence".  

Makes you wonder what words were used to define trust prior to the 1200's?  Obviously, I can't imagine that humanity would have made it that far without trust and confidence.

Maybe, prior to 1199 A.D., when a brave soul headed into the dark of the forest, turned to see her friends behind her with thumbs up! Meaning, "hey, we've got your back"? Or maybe back then, thumbs up meant "hope you don't get eaten" or "we have confidence you won't get eaten but just in case you do, we'll wait here!"

Later in the 13th century those Old Norse dudes evolved the word into a verb, treysta, which meant  "to trust".  

Having a problem here with the "Old Norse" part of this whole deal.  Am I mistaken or is Old Norse 
just a polite way of describing the marauding, raping Vikings who were too old to participate in boys-night-out?

Sometime in the mid-1600's, two "ee"'s were added to the word trust to describe someone who had legal responsibility for another person's property. My book does not give any certain ethnicity or culture credit for this evolution of trust.  I bet my bottom dollar that it was some English man whose widowed sister just inherited a large estate, a forest full of deer and a small fortune. It may be those two little "ee"'s that prompted the concept of trust to take a nosedive.

In 1855, or so it appears, it became necessary to have another kind of trustee.  This one was a convict or prisoner who was known for displaying good conduct while incarcerated or participating in the Bond-Servant program. Heaven forbid someone mistake one trustee for the other, so the ee's were dropped and a y added. TaDa, Trusty. (doesn't say much for Boy Robin or other superhero sidekicks, does it?)

I would imagine the accent is on different syllables when distinguishing one from the other. Trust-EE or TRUST-y.

Is there a trust scale? You know, 1 to 10 or maybe, even, a rainbow-chart? Is that where the phrase true-blue came from? (Trust me, I will be looking that up!) May I also add that blue is only slightly higher than middle level trust, so when a friend tells you they are true-blue, keep an eye on them!

If there is a scale, what level should certain relationships maintain? 

Will the sun rise tomorrow? I'd give that a 10 or the bluest blue in my trust scales. Will I be there to see it rise? Hmm, I guess that's a 5; I just don't know. (ROY G BIV) My being here tomorrow is a green on the rainbow scale of trust. Maybe more towards the blue hues and a 5.5 because I am, after all, fairly healthy.

 Maybe the scale trust rises and falls depending on subject. I trust my granddaughters not to take my car for a spin even though the keys are very accessible (10-Violet). Same girls and accessible Oreos. Probability of cookies being in pantry in morning?  Orange? Yellow? 2?

How important is trust in a relationship?  Are there different types of trust that count more than others?  If you catch someone in a lie and call them on it, are you the bad guy? Maybe the other person "trusted" you to not notice or stay quiet. "Damn the boat rockers!"

So that brings us to "Honesty"! My buddy, dictionary.com, says, "uprightness and fairness, truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness. freedom from deceit or fraud" BUT...

...Etymology suggests the use of the word "honesty" begin in the early 13th century from French meaning "splendid, honor elegance"...uh...really? In the 14th century honesty evolved to mean "propriety of good behavior, good manners, virginity". 

(not going to say it....can't make me!)

It appears throughout most recent history, honesty had more to do with the appearance of being honorable than actually being truthful.  (Example: Congress, Senate, President, L.A. Police Department).

Okay, I get it. Honesty is about appearances. So trust must be about having confidence in how another presents himself or herself.  

Sixty-two frickin' years wasted on false expectations! What a Fool!

1 comment:

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