"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Welcome season

"Welcome," 5 x 7 watercolor holiday greeting card

it time for some "welcome" news? How long since you've felt "welcome" in this pandemic and political sickness? Have you been "welcomed" recently?  Is the "welcome mat," still out?

This should be a season of welcoming, of pleasantries, of genuine friendliness and acceptance, more than ever this year. 

Consider the word's etymology. It derives from Ole English, in the 1300s, "wilcuma," which meant "a desired guest, a person whose coming is pleasing," from the roots willa, "pleasure, desire, choice," and cuma, "guest." It changed to the wel, influenced by Old Norse velkominn and Old French bien venu. (You can see that relationship in modern Spanish bienvenida.)

The first citation of “you’re welcome” in the Oxford English Dictionary dates from 1907, but others say it can be found as far back as 1603, in “Othello”, Act 4, Scene 1:

"Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, tonight

I do entreat that we may sup together.
You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus. Goats and monkeys!" 

"You're welcome "as a routine response to "Thank You"  is attested from 1907. "Welcome mat" is from 1908; welcome wagon is attested from 1940, from the OED.

That may be more than you wanted to know in this season when we need some welcoming. You're welcome, thank you.

Today's watercolor, the colors of welcome in New Mexico--turquoise, adobe, red and green.

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