My Scottish heritage has dragged out another wee term for us to look at. Today, we consider the word
Definitions for ken
knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception: an idea beyond one’s ken.
range of sight or vision.
Chiefly Scot. a. to know, have knowledge of or about, or be acquainted with (a person or thing). b. to understand or perceive (an idea or situation).
It came into the English language before the year 900 AD, and it didn’t come alone. Its widely dispersed ancestors also gave us;
English ken comes from the very widespread Proto-Indo-European root gnō- (and its variants gnē-, gen-, and gṇ-) “to know.” The variant gnō- appears in Greek gignṓskein (and dialect gnṓskein), Latin gnōscere, nōscere, and Slavic (Polish) znać “to know.” The variant gnē- forms cnāwan in Old English (and know in English); the variant gṇǝ- (with suffixed schwa) yields cunnan “to know, know how to, be able” in Old English (and can “be able” in English).
These also gave us Gnostic, and Agnostic, as well as the Scottish term, canny, which means skilled, expert, astute, shrewd or cautious, and the English word cunning, a noun which means just about the same thing.
Now that we know all about Ken, let’s have a look at Barbie. Barbie is a predecessor to Kardashians, only with less plastic, and more intelligence, personality, and believable figure. If Barbie is so popular, why do we have to buy her friends?? 😕