I’ve got a collection of random information in my brain that makes me an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner, but is completely useless when it comes to real world application. Like say, job applications. I thought I’d share some of this random crap with you in the form of another acronym-ific series. I give you – Word Origins from Left Field – that’s right, the WOLF… ignore the fact that the “from” doesn’t fit.
I know I’ll probably date myself if I say that whenever I hear the word maverick I picture a red and black fighter-pilot’s helmet, but I’m going to go ahead and say it anyway. And while not everyone has that visual stumbling block, I’m guessing very few people actually know where the word comes from.
In the 1800’s a South Carolinian named Samuel Augustus Maverick transplanted himself to Texas and accumulated plenty of land (which he rather liked) and was given 400 head of cattle (which he wasn’t terribly interested in) to settle a $2,100 debt. Maverick was so unconcerned with his livestock that he didn’t even bother to have them branded. So when a loose cow wandered onto someone’s property not bearing a brand, it was assumed to be “a Maverick.”
Time lost the capitalization, but the idea of a loose cannon or someone who refused to fall into line and wear the brand as a maverick stuck.