Old Words, New Meanings

Written in Lake Tahoe on April 15, 2015

Language evolves to suit culture’s needs

Words are applied to things they don’t mean

And people’s sloth lets these things slide

As old words we say become newly defined

My favorite words have become titles of friends

Fresh stories employ them to all kinds of ends

For now I’ll expound on four right here

All in hope to make context more clear:

My vagabond friends do move place to place

And vagaries do change the look on their face

But one way these friends use their noun in the wrong

Is that all of my vagabond friends have a job

My nomadic friends do wander around

They pitch their “tents” in nature and town

But one way these nomads are changing their word

Is that they’ve completely removed it from an animal herd

My gypsy friends are a free-spirited bunch

At each fork in the road they follow a hunch

But they aren’t all dark-skinned or Romany speak

Gypsy blood’s been diluted and heritage weak

My own rambler name is cause for debate

Though I’m ever-pleased to walk near forest and lake

It’s clear that I’m not a straggling rose

So a rambler I’m not as its meaning goes

What words have you kidnapped, altered and changed

To match some meaning you’ve never explained?

Each word has history and their story goes deep

Know what you’re saying and language you’ll keep.