When it was brought into English in the late fourteenth century, the word cancel used to literally mean “cross out with a line” and it only took its figurative definition of “nullify” in the mid-1600s. Through Anglo-Norman and French, it comes from the Latin word cancellus, meaning “lattice” (a grid of lines), and that’s from the root carcer, meaning “enclosed space” (also present in the word incaration). Finally, carcer derives from the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction kar-kro, meaning something like “circular” or “enclosure”. It’s kind of a cool example of etymology in action to observe cancel continue to evolve today: now, it can be applied to people, through the notion of things like TV shows and professional contracts being cancelled once they are exposed for whatever they did.
Oscar Peterson was among numerous Black working-class families to call Little Burgundy home. Part of Montreal, this neighborhood became a jazz mecca in the e…
“What sort of thing?”
“Something tells me that they’re SUSPICIOUS!”
“Perhaps they think you’re after their honey?”
“It may be that. You never can tell with bees.”