Angry Scotsmen have traced the word “word” back to 1990, when it was used by the hard rock band Gun in the lyrics of their song “Word Up!”
Others point to the Old English word, “word”—and how tempting! The tricksters behind this etymological prankery have contrived to have us believe the the contemporary “word” from the Old English “word” evolved from the Proto-Germanic “wurda,” supposedly the source of the Old Saxon and Old Frisian “word,” the Dutch “woord,” the Old High German “woort”—and on and on.
Credible explanations for these high jinks can be found encoded via symbols, disappearing ink, optical illusions, and cryptography that inverts, perverts, and subverts that which was used by the U.S. Air Forces in Battle of Hill 282 during the Korean War, in the extensive internet literature of Flat-Earthers, 9/11 Truthers, and on-the-ground witnesses to the skeletal remains of livestock victimized by chupacabras, and The Illuminati’s most secret texts—from The Word: How to Get the Objectively & Eternally Superior Top Secret Most Incredible Expensive Mind-Blowing Things and Knowledge That Would Cause Non-Illuminati Dummkopf Twits to Literally Die From Brain Implosions, written in 1776 by the group’s founders, to the novel Brave New Word, to the group’s most recent volume, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to New Word Order—and the Hollywood film, Don’t Say a Word, starring Michael Douglas, Sean Bean, and Brittany Murphy, which, when watched backwards, is pretty good.
As the Illuminati’s various hidden written, whispered verbal, and mysterious physical gestures (e.g. earlobe-pulling) suggests, any alleged linkage between the contemporary English word “word” and all aforementioned historical precursors are marred by controversy. Tonight, on this very mic, you’re about to hear (we swear ) the best damn rappers and etymologists of the year. So, so, cheerio, yell, scream, Bravo! The trailblazing Doug E Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew are on record (pun very much intended) rapping the word “word”—first Doug and then none other than the legendary Slick Rick, in rapid succession—in the 1985 hit single, “The Show:”
Slick Rick: Well, here’s a little something that needs to be heard. Doug, I was walking down the street—
Doug E Fresh: Word, Rick?
Slick Rick: Word!
Etymology coming soon!
Etymology coming soon!