When you look at a word like ‘horny’ (as in aroused), do you hope it has come from more interesting origins than analogies between ‘horn’ and a particular body part?
I did. It just seemed too obvious, but no… ‘horny’ comes from exactly that analogy and was (predictably) only applied to the owners of that body part for most of its life. (Arousal not being at all lady-like, naturally.)
Thankfully, my interest in the word ‘clock’ turned up a marvellous origins story. It comes from the Medieval Latin word clocca which means ‘bell’. So what do bells have to do with clocks?
The first time western societies started keeping track of hours in a regimented way, was the saying of different prayers at different times in the monasteries. These were marked by the ringing of bells.
Obviously sun dials, water clocks, hourglasses and the position of the sun were all available before this time but life was not regulated by them.