We all know what a blunder is; we all make mistakes. Google the word and you’ll read about some seriously red-faced people whose boobs were blabbed to the world: just yesterday, ITV News reported that “Fifty Shades director left red-faced over gun blunder”; “CDC Scientist Kept Quiet About Flu Blunder” and “Eardrop blunder could have left Valerie deaf” were recent headlines screaming people’s boo-boos. Dating back to the mid-14th century, when it meant “to stumble about blindly,” from a Scandinavian source akin to the Old Norse blundra, meaning to “shut one’s eyes,” blunder means not just any old mistake — but a stupid or embarrassing mistake. Isn’t it good to know that we were making and talking about stupid mistakes seven centuries ago?
Now try Googling boner — supposedly a synonym of blunder in North American slang — and you might be the red-faced one. Nowadays it is slang for an erection (probably derived from bone-on in the 1940s) — but it wasn’t always that way. Continue reading