Etymology of Tuesday

Day 6: December 17, 2013

Go to work. Tell someone good morning. Her response will be simple, yet unexpected: you dyed your hair. Say yes, yes you did dye your hair. And that you like it. Because change is good. Everyone needs change some times.

She surprises you again with her response: it’s stark.

Spend the rest of your morning defining the word stark because maybe it doesn’t mean what you thought it meant. (It does.)


  1. sheer, utter, downright, or complete

  2. harsh, grim, or desolate, as a view, place, etc.

  3. extremely simple or severe

  4. bluntly or sternly plain; not soften or glamorized

  5. stiff or rigid in substance, muscles, etc.

Think about it some more, like it matters. It doesn’t, but you’re stuck on it. The best scenario would be if she meant definition number three, right? Or maybe the “complete” part of number one.

Use your Thesaurus; that’ll help matters. (Or further your crazy.)

Synonyms for stark: blunt, simple, gross, out-and-out, palpable, pure, severe

By your second cup of coffee, you will have officially forgotten why you started tracking the etymology of the word. But you’ll also find yourself excited that you’ve learned a bit more about a word people use to, presumably, insult you (indirectly of course).

Congratulations, Word Nerd, to you and your extremely dark (but not technically black) head of hair. Now go do some work.

Translation: Twenty-five is about realizing that you’re kind of a nerd and the only one that likes your dark hair (you’ll get this kind of response every single time you dye it). And that’s okay. Because it was a change. And change is good. Everyone needs change sometimes. Even if it is stark.


Writer’s Note: This post is part of a larger series called “Learning Twenty-Five.”