3 Words I Learned From Star Trek

3 Words I Learned From Star Trek

Not to mention "triticale," which is actually a real thing

 

Yeoman
I ran across this word over the weekend, and it made me smile. I remember the first time I encountered it, in an episode of the original series that I watched when I was eight or nine. Yeoman Rand makes an appearance, and I was like, "Who is this chick, and what's a yeoman?"
 
A yeoman is, of course, a rank in the US Navy which performs administrative and clerical duties. Luckily for real-world yeomans, a massive blonde beehive is not required for the job. (Although sadly I suspect that the two jobs may still have "unwanted sexual advances" in common.) 

 
Concordance
I used to love going over to this one particular friend's house, because her father owned a battered copy of the Star Trek Concordance. He allowed me to read it if I promised to be careful and not eat or drink while I had it in hand.
 
My friend would get pretty miffed when I showed up at her house only to bury my nose in some stupid book of her dad's. I guess that was pretty rude of me, but the Concordance was a pretty rare thing at the time. It was long since out of print by then, and I didn't have any money of my own to buy one, anyway.
 
You can imagine my surprise, many years later, to learn that in most people's minds, "concordance" referred specifically to a Bible textbook. Technically it just means "a big collection of facts about a specific subject," but most people only encountered the word in relation to the Bible. 
 
Biblical concordances take every word in the Bible, and show you which pages they appeared in. Useful for those times when you want to look up every single instance where a horse appeared in the Bible, or whatever.
 
What can I say? I wasn't raised with any religion (just Star Trek).
 
Catspaw
I used to constantly get this word confused with "dogsbody," which is kind of the same thing, but not really. (I also once called "houndstooth" "dogstooth," to the merriment of the collection of adults I was with at the time, and to my eternal embarrassment.)
 
It probably didn't help that the Star Trek episode titled "Catspaw" prominently features a cat. I remember looking the word up in the dictionary, and then being thoroughly confused about what relationship the word had to actual cats.