It's sometimes surprising to learn the stories behind the words we use. As a recent excellent comic
detailed, the english word "hysteria," as well as the recognizable variants present in every Germanic and Romance language, to mean a state of madness, find their source
in the Greek word for uterus, "hystera." Physicians in antiquity linked a condition of mental imbalance, purportedly only present in women, to their possession of wombs.
In a conceptually, but otherwise not at all, related twist, the European nomenclature for bears is an unusual story as well. A well-regarded theory on the linguistics surrounding bears suggests that the story is dictated by our relationship with the animal itself.
By way of background, most languages now present in Europe belong to the Indo-European language family. It’s widely believed that all of these languages descend from one common, Proto-Indo-European ancestor language, often referred to as “PIE. …