The Surprising Origin of ‘COOL!’

COOL

“You are my champion,” Silas told Christina, blushing a little. “My family all died, and here you are seeking revenge, not just for yourself, but for me, and others like me. You have enough courage for the whole of Blackwood. I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ because I may not have another chance.”

She looked flattered and amazed at the same time, then examined the remains of her flower. “Nobody has ever said anything as nice as that before. I thought everybody saw me as a blood-hungry madwoman, driven insane by my curse.”

“Well…” said Silas. “Some do. But not all. You are Mab’s hero. She thinks you’re so cool [1]. And so do I.”

He stopped there, thinking he had perhaps gone too far, and feeling very embarrassed. But the next thing he knew, Christina was planting a kiss on his cheek.

“Thank you, Silas,” she whispered.

[1] The word ‘cool’ (as a way of saying ‘splendid’) has been around for longer than most people think. It all started at the royal court of Edward I. Taking a sip of experimental ale innovatively chilled deep within a block of ice, he had been heard to say “Oh! That’s cool!” As ale in those days was usually tepid, some of his courtiers assumed that ‘cool’ was a new expression, and it was soon adopted all over Europe.


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