Monday, January 21, 2013

Was Otis Redding's ass wet?

Otis Redding sang "(Sittin') On the Dock of the Bay." It's a very nice song, but the key lyric may make no sense, like "Duke of Earl" -- and others.

Nitpickers like me know that the thing that Otis was sitting on was a pier, or maybe a wharf or a jetty or a quay. The actual dock is the space in the water next to the dock.

The Online Etymology Dictionary says the origin may be "via Late Latin ductia ("aqueduct") from Latin ducere "to lead" (see duke (n.)"

And that, neatly -- or perversely -- takes us back to the silly Duke of Earl.

We have "dry docks" to distinguish them from the wet docks.

And, of course, Star Ships visit space docks.

Er...what's up, Doc?

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