I “onboard” folks all the time. That’s one of my things.
Folks say things like, “Awwww, we gotta onboard this? Better get maiki!” when I’m not around.
So what does it mean?
Okay, let’s check out board:
From Middle English bord , from Old English bord (“board; plank; table; shield; deck; ship; boundary”), from Proto-West Germanic *bord , from Proto-Germanic *burdą (“board; plank; table”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerdʰ- (“to cut”).
It’s so amazing to look at all the derived meanings. First, there’s the nouns:
- A relatively long, wide and thin piece of any material, usually wood or similar, often for use in construction or furniture-making.
- A device (e.g., switchboard) containing electrical switches and other controls and designed to control lights, sound, telephone connections, etc.
- A flat surface with markings for playing a board game.
Each player starts the game with four counters on the board .
- Short for blackboard, whiteboard, chessboard, surfboard, message board (on the Internet), etc.
- A committee that manages the business of an organization, e.g., a board of directors .
We have to wait to hear back from the board .
Room and board
- (nautical) The side of a ship.
- (nautical) The distance a sailing vessel runs between tacks when working to windward.
- (ice hockey) The wall that surrounds an ice hockey rink, often in plural.
- (archaic) A long, narrow table, like that used in a medieval dining hall.
- Paper made thick and stiff like a board, for book covers, etc.; pasteboard.
to bind a book in boards
I’m always telling @susan (when I’m not eavesdropping on others to hear how they refer to be and onboarding), “nature abhors a flat surface!”
What I mean by that is, when I am homeless I have difficulty doing things that people with tables take for granted. Want to prepare a meal? Eat a meal? Write on paper? Hold a thing so it doesn’t roll away?
Thank a flat surface.
on- is easy enough to understand:
- on, at, toward, upon.
So, let’s look at the types of verbs we get when we are board…
- It is time to board the aircraft.
to board one’s horse at a livery stable
to board a house
A bureau comes from:
Borrowed from French bureau , earlier “coarse cloth (as desk cover), baize”, from Old French burel (“woolen cloth”), diminutive of *bure (compare Middle French bure (“coarse woolen cloth”), French bourre (“hair, fluff”)), from Late Latin burra (“wool, fluff, shaggy cloth, coarse fabric”); akin to Ancient Greek βερβέριον (berbérion, “shabby garment”). Doublet of burel and borrel , taken from Old French.
Bureaus and boards… the human condition expressed as furniture.