I’m always looking for a unique spin I can put on the essays for Linda’s blog hops, or blog challenges, or blogfests, or whatever you want to call these things. One of these days I promise I’ll come up with a consistent name for them; everyone seems to think my calling them “blog thingies” is a riot….
Where was I? Sorry about that. Anyway…
I looked “climate” up in the dictionary, and of course there was a discussion of climate in terms of the weather (which some would have you believe has nothing to do with the climate), and about the use of the word to describe human conditions (e.g. the business climate or the political climate), and, let’s face it, I wasn’t in the mood to talk about any of that stuff. So I decided instead to look at the O. E. D. (i.e. the Online Etymology Dictionary) and see where we get the word. Here is what I found out, copied verbatim from the site:
late 14c., “horizontal zone of the earth,” Scottish, from Old French climat “region, part of the earth,” from Latin clima (genitive climatis) “region; slope of the Earth,” from Greek klima “region, zone,” literally “an inclination, slope,” thus “slope of the Earth from equator to pole,” from root of klinein “to slope, to lean” (see lean (v.)).
The angle of sun on the slope of the Earth’s surface defined the zones assigned by early geographers. Early references in English, however, are in astrology works, as each of the seven (then) climates was held to be under the influence of one of the planets. Shift from “region” to “weather associated with a region” perhaps began in Middle English, certainly by c. 1600. (Emphasis mine.)
So the word comes from the Greek word for “slope” or “lean.” And what do you do with a slope? You climb it. Thus the name of this post.
I couldn’t leave that emphasized passage alone above without playing one of my favorite songs from the 1970’s, by Dennis Coffey, former Motown session guitarist: “Scorpio.”