5 things you need to know in SA business today and the hidden meanings behind 10 words you use every day
1. Steinhoff hit a new low – 97c – yesterday. Three years ago, it was trading close to R97. Investors continued to be unnerved by the prospects of legal action against the company.
2. The local gold miner Harmony reported its results this morning – its headline earnings rose 20%, with output also higher. The world’s biggest miner BHP also released its results, reporting its best profit in five years. The Australian company said the US-China trade war is not yet affecting demand for its commodities.
3. The around Kriel in Mpumalanga is now the world's second biggest sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions hotspot in the world. This is according to new data from NASA satellites, released on Monday morning.
4. An urgent application by the union Solidarity against Denel will be heard in the North Gauteng high court this morning. Solidarity claims Denel deducted taxes, unemployment insurance and other monies from employees' salary payments, but did not pay the funds to the relevant custodians, including the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Denel struggled to pay staff salaries in July.
5. Cell C's largest shareholder, Blue Label Telecoms, lost another chunk of value after warning that its profits will be 20% lower. Cell C is struggling with a debt burden of some R6 billion.
The hidden meanings behind 10 words you use every day
Reported by Talia Lakritz
Like many languages, English borrows words and phrases from others. The etymology behind things we say and write every day can have some unexpected roots.
Here are the surprising origins of 10 everyday words, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
The word "phony," meaning not genuine or real, comes from the British word "fawney," a brass ring that con artists would pretend to find and make an unsuspecting chump pay to keep.
Whiskey is the shortened form of whiskeybae from the Old English "usquebae," derived from the Gaelic words uisge (water) and beatha (life). So "whiskey" literally means "water of life."
The "mare" in "nightmare" refers to an evil spirit that was believed to cause feelings of suffocation in one's sleep around the 14th century. "Nightmare" then came to be known as the feeling of anguish caused by the evil spirit around the 16th century, and eventually the term for a frightening dream.
"Disaster" comes from the Middle French and the Old Italian word "disastro," meaning "star," a relic from when stars and astrology were believed to determine one's fate and cause calamities.
The word "pamphlet" comes from the name of a Latin love poem, "Pamphilus seu De Amore" ("On Love") from the 12th century. It was passed around due to its popularity, the same way pamphlets are distributed today.
"Salary" comes from the Latin word "salarium" containing the root "sal," meaning "salt." Ancient Roman soldiers used to be paid in salt, then a rare and valuable substance, instead of money.
"Eavesdrop" refers to someone who stands under the drips from eaves, the part of a building's roof that sticks out and hangs over the side, to listen to conversations. The word dates back to 1606.
"Alarm" comes from the Italian battle cry "all'arme!" meaning "to arms" or "to your weapons." The word then transitioned to describing the warning itself and any object used to sound it. It became a verb by the 17th century.
Receive a daily email with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- South Africa must stop people leaving and lure emigrants back home. Here’s what we can learn from Portugal’s crazy scheme
- WATCH: This new Mercedes seat 'squeezes' you when you go around corners. It also has eight massage modes
- Sasol scared the markets with a cryptic warning and lost R20 billion in 15 minutes
- Here’s how much South African universities are getting from the state per student, from R79,000 at Rhodes to R37,000 at Walter Sisulu
- 12 of the weirdest OneDayOnly deals we found - including a fat freezer and truly unsexy garters