12 December 2008


Are you interested in etymology? That is, the study of the history of words — there's a great BBC programme called 'Balderdash And Piffle' all about this. Anyway, it's one particular word that has sparked me off to blog today.

The term 'gullible' apparently stems back from 1793 and is probably connected to 'gull', a slang term for a dupe or a sucker. It is perhaps derived from the name of the actual bird, or from the verb gull (meaning 'to swallow', 1530, from the old French word goule, or from the Latin gula meaning throat or gullet). This means it probably refers to someone who will swallow anything thrown at them. There's also a Middle English dialect word gull meaning a newly hatched bird (1382).

The term goes a long way back, doesn't it? So we should be well aware that we need to be careful and sensible when dealing with others who may appear to be one thing but in fact are quite the opposite.

"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." (Matthew 10:16)

"Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves." (Luke 10:3)

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8)

Let's go out and do His will - but remember to be careful out there!

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