Merriam-Webster, our trusty, long-time word-definer, defines ‘edible’:
Edible adj. fit to be eaten.
Simple enough, right? Also, while I was on Merriam-Webster’s site I stumbled across something surprising, or – more appropriately – unexpected. The word ‘edible’ is in the bottom 50% of words (based on lookups).
We’re going to call Merriam-Webster ‘M-W’ henceforth.
Now, you might think that its low ranking is due to lack of proper English and that ‘eatable’ might be more common. That’s what thought, at first. I was wrong. According to M-W, ‘eatable’ is proper. I just don’t consider it formal.
Eatable adj. fit or able to be eaten.
Eatable noun. something to eat.
Popularity: Bottom 40% of words.
Like I mentioned earlier, this percentage is based on lookups. Let us continue.
Love noun. strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
Love verb. to hold dear
Popularity: Top 1% of lookups
Hang tight, this might be going somewhere. If I’m losing you, check this out:
That’s a bit discomforting to see, but sweet, right? It’s a very interesting, yet little known fact about love. The image above was the first result when I searched ‘weird fun facts’ on Bing. Love seems to be a hot topic no matter where you go.
You’re probably wondering how the frequency of ‘love’ and ‘edible’ are related. Although one is searched up on Merriam-Webster more than the other, both are fairly common in everyday language. Many use ‘love’ when describing feelings toward an extensive collection of things, including entertainment, people, art, and food. It’s all over the place.
‘Edible’ is pretty linear. When you think about ‘edible’, the word itself is primal. Knowledge of edibility kept us from starvation, back before the availability and abundance we have of food today. Maybe that carefully organized group of six letters grew in popularity as access to food increased. Or simply, as time passed and our vocabulary evolved, ‘edible’ just so happened to get picked up.
The first recorded use of ‘edible’ is in the year 1594. For more information on ‘First Known Use’ dates, check out Help: Dates in the M-W Dictionary.
In the year 1594, Columbus did, indeed, not sail the ocean blue. By 1594, he had actually been dead for a good 88 years. In the year 1594, Henry IV became the King of France. That’s about it. The following century (17th Century) humans began making major headway in science, medicine, technology, etc. It was the Scientific Revolution. Now, I myself am wondering what any of this has to do with ‘edible’.
I may not have gotten much further that where I was when I began writing this, but I did learn a bit. Hopefully you all learned something, or at least had fun tagging along.
Thank you for following me on this journey, and as always:
Let us learn, love, and live, together.