What’s in a name—like WyzAnt??

WyzAnt: From the moment I stumbled upon it, I was intrigued by the name of this tutoring organization!! Well, maybe “intrigued” is not exactly the best word to describe my impression. You might say that for me the name held “karma" for a couple different reasons. A story is in order! Read on:

I was on the WyzAnt website the other day, and my brother chuckled as he looked over my shoulder at the red, bespectacled ant. I have no idea if my brother was laughing because the ant seemed like a funny mascot for the organization or because of the coincidental name of the organization. Well, I never got around to posing that question to my brother because I became distracted by his denial that the name was based in a biblical concept. So, I proceeded to prove the depiction of “the ant” in the Bible as a role model.

I said, "Listen, Brother, to the words of King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived!"

The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 6, verses 6 through 8 say:

6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

No, I have not verified the origin of the organization’s name with WyzAnt’s CEO, but I have a feeling that it is based in Solomon’s depiction of the little ant that was forever busy ensuring that everything was in order and taken care of. I DO, however, see the wisdom, prudence, and thoroughness in how the WyzAnt website and organization is managed. HIGH FIVE!

So, yes, I laughed with my brother as I thought of my choice of joining WyzAnt over numerous other tutoring organizations on the Internet. I know that the biblically based name drew me in, but I also could not resist publicly taking ownership of a title that I had privately assumed for many years. You see, I assumed the position of “wise aunt” in my nephew’s life when he was six years old. When I adopted my nephew 15 years ago, I began a lifetime journey of pointing him in the right direction, and teaching him—little by little—the secrets that God programmed into the millions of ants whose wisdom is taken for granted. To this day, it seems quite clear that the endless labor and thoroughness of the AUNT was also taken for granted. But, SERIOUSLY?  Who would dare question the power of an army of tiny little ants that make quick work of your picnic crumbs?! Who would dare question the power of an “aunt” that teams up with God to secure a successful future of a smart young man? NOT THIS WISE AUNT!


Hello Andrew, Cheryl et al,

All by myself, I speculatively arrived at a completely different origin story (even if it isn’t perfectly correct grammatically). Andrew, please feel free to weave it into the historical lore of Wyzant if it so pleases you. (I had a friend who, whenever he was asked how he had lost the end of his index finger, replied with a sly grin “I lost it in the war”, never naming which war, and never mind that it was a childhood sledding accident)...creative history can be fun!

Here’s what I thought up:

Wyz = wise

combined with the dictionary definition of the suffix “-ant”:

-ant: a suffix forming adjectives and nouns from verbs, occurring originally in French and Latin loan words (pleasant; constant; servant ) and productive in English on this model; -ant, has the general sense “characterized by or serving in the capacity of” that named by the stem ( ascendant; pretendant ), especially in the formation of nouns denoting human agents in legal actions or other formal procedures (tenant; defendant; applicant; contestant ). In technical and commercial coinages, -ant, is a suffix of nouns denoting impersonal physical agents ( propellant; lubricant; deodorant ). In general, -ant, can be added only to bases of Latin origin, with a very few exceptions, as coolant.

So clearly a Wyzant is a knowledgeable person, prone to dispensing their wisdom!

Wyzant tutor Carl G.

P.S. Oh, by the way, I’m surprised that the dictionary definition left out one of my fave “-ant” words...sycophant!




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