Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jewelry: the word

Ever wonder how the word jewelry came about? You’re in luck – at Hip Mom, we not only happen to be jewelry makers, but formidable historians and anthropologists as well. Ok, maybe not historians. Or anthropologists. But we do happen to know about the word jewelry.

Jewelry (also spelled jewellery, commonly in Canada or the UK), has its origins from the Old French word jouel. That’s funny, because as we all know, the modern French word for jewelry is bijou, as in “See my new piece of bijou that Gary got me?” or bijoux, as in “Wow, look at this exhibit of the Crown bijoux from the House of Tudor!”

Going back even further, the latin word for jewelry, jocale, means “plaything.” Now this we like, because even though jewelry is not-a-toy-intended-for-children-under-the-age-of-three, there is still a certain playfulness about jewelry. It’s glittery. It dangles. It sways. We take delight in it. And it also explains why little people invariably want to play with it, because that’s what it is – a plaything!

So next time you feel a little whimsy in putting on your jocale, go ahead and tap into that inner child who loves her playthings. We'll have your back.

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