Which came first, the TV or the remote? Well, in this case, the use of the term remote control dates back to 1904, while the term television first made its appearance in English around 1907, Television wouldn't exist for another two decades or so, but at least the name was ready. The word remote comes from the Latin remotus, which means "far off." People have been getting that far off look searching for lost remotes ever since.
The word is comes from the Greek root tele- meaning 'far" and from the Latin, visionem meaning "the act of seeing". The abbreviated form, TV appears to have entered our language around 1948. Other potential names for television were telephote and televista, but "Hey honey, what's on the telephote tonight?" just didn't sound right to prehistoric couch potatoes.
You say potato; I say let's eat. We can thank the Spanish conquistadores for this one. The word comes from the Carib term for sweet potato, batata. This word was corrupted in Spanish to patata and later entered English as potato. The first potatoes were sweet potatoes, until the Peruvian white potato was discovered. This potato was considered inferior to sweet potatoes and was used as a cheap food source. The rest as they say, is history.
Chances are, no couch potato is a couch potato at all - but rather a sofa potato. Couch as we know it is from the Old French coucher or "to lie down". This term derives from the Latin collocare, which means "to lay". Technically the word couch refers to seating with an upraised head area and half a back. A sofa on the other hand is what most of us refer to as a couch, with its upraised sides and full back. So when your snooty friends refer to you as a couch potato, feel free to correct them to the more proper "sofa potato."
This word is probably derived from the Dutch term, snacken, which means to "snatch" and appears to have entered English as a term for a light meal in the early 1800s.
The word chip derives from the Old English term, forcippian, which means to "pare down by cutting". From this comes cipp meaning a "small piece of wood." Chips, specifically potato chips began in the mid 1800s.
We're not talking about the dance, after all no couch potato in his or her right mind would even think about expending that kind of energy - we're talking about the condiment. As you can guess, this term came to us from Spanish via the Latin term salsus, meaning salted.
This is one of those words that gives English a bad name. No lofty Latin roots here. This word is pure English from the Germanic root drengkan and the Old English drincan.
The word channel comes from the Latin canalis, which means a "groove or waterpipe". This would be the same root used for canal. The term came to refer to a "circuit for telegraph communication in the 1840s and was used to describe radio and television band widths in the late 1920s. Surf has a more mysterious origin, but it is thought to derive from suffe which was used to refer to the coast of India. The term is thought to be a phonetic spelling of sough, which originally meant "a rushing sound". To surf, as in riding waves, began in around 1917 and surfing the web around 1993.
Darn those Romans; they keep inventing our words. Boob comes from the Spanish word bobo meaning a "stupid person." Bobo seems to have its roots in the Latin word balbus which means "stammering" and of similar decent to the word barbarian. If the phrase stammering idiot has any meaning, then perhaps the roots of this word make more sense.
Tube comes to us from the Latin root, tubus, meaning pipe. It's reference to tv comes from the cathode ray tube, which after being shortened to tube, came to refer to television in the late 1950s.
As you can see, being a couch potato has a long and honored place in the rich history of our language. Now hurry up, my show's about to start.