Parasites

You’re probably familiar with the word parasite and it’s definition:

An organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense.

“the parasite attaches itself to the mouths of fishes”

Oxford Dictionary

But I found the origin of the word to be fascinating and it all started with… food!

…parasitos—was created by the Greeks. The word literally means “beside food,” and the Greeks originally had something very different in mind when they used it, referring to officials who served at temple feasts. At some point the word slipped its etymological harness and came to mean a hanger-on, someone who could get the occasional meal from a nobleman by pleasing him with good conversation, delivering messages, or doing some other job.

Parasite Rex

So a word that started as:

  • An official who served at temple feasts

Became:

  • Someone who could get the occasional meal form a nobleman by pleasing him with good conversation, delivering messages, or doing some other job

The origin of words is fascinating. And I guess next time my dog is begging for food at the dinner table by “looking cute” or “sitting” the most correct thing to say is “stop being a parasite” 😂

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