Monday, March 16, 2009

Feeling groovy from Marty

Dear Word Spy,

My friend and I want to know - how come the word groovy means groovy instead of "lots of grooves"?

your fan, Marty

Dear Marty (and friend...)

Well, I guess groovy can mean lots of grooves sometimes. I mean, you could say "the road was so groovy I fell off my bicycle." But you're right, mostly when people say something is groovy they mean it's cool. (I mean cool cool, not slightly cold cool...)

People who have thought about this word say that it comes from the grooves in records - you know those round things that used to play music before tapes and cds and mp3s etc etc? So musical people would say something was "in the groove" if it sounded really good. That turned into "groovy."

Hmm, so that's groovy. But what about gravy? Why doesn't that mean lots of graves? We'll leave that interesting question till next time.

Must fly,
your pal,
The Word Spy

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