Caught in the Middle? Take comfort in this word: Mesopotamia!


Mesopotamia ancient name for the land that lies between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (in modern Iraq), from Greek mesopotamia, literally “a country between two rivers,” from feminine of mesopotamos, from mesos “middle” (see medial (adj.)) + potamos “river” (see potamo).

“In the 19 century (1800s)  the word sometimes was used in the sense of “anything which gives irrational or inexplicable comfort to the hearer,” based on the story of the old woman who told her pastor that she “found great support in that comfortable word Mesopotamia” [“Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable,” 1870].” (from the Online Etymological Dictionary…one of my favorites for word origins).

Now, next time you feel caught in the middle, you will be able, like the wise woman,  to testify, “You know I felt awkward, trapped, and even caught in the middle of the conflict (heated debate, opinion-fest, mindless argument, brouhaha). But lately I’ve been finding ‘great support in that comfortable word Mesopotamia.'”

Be comfortable when you holidays-boat is rocking–think Mesopotamia!  (Much like using your inner Argh!)

Best re-Arghs!
Cap’n John

Rock and Reply!