Police have now been placed on alert after a new, dangerous “stasy” drug, named ‘sparkle,’ was made available for sale online. Users say that sparkle, also known as ‘MDMA’ triggers chemical responses in the brain much like the Class A drugs which are illegal. In the past, MDMA was dubbed ‘ecstasy’ or ‘molly’ for its production.
It is believed that the term ‘MDMA’ first appeared around twenty years ago because of the similarities in spelling between the English word ’emphysema’ and the Welsh word ’ema ‘ both of which contain the spelling ‘entimes.’ The similarity between the English word ’emphysema’ and the Welsh word ’ema’ could be a clue to its possible source, which has never been found. However, there is no evidence to support this theory at this time. Instead, it is believed that the sparkle drug was created by combining MDMA and ephedra, which are now a controlled substance.
There is some speculation about the etymology of the word ’emphysema’ itself. Some suggest that the etymology of the word reflects the Latin word ‘energens’ which means energy. Others believe the etymology of the word to be from ‘energens plus the prefix ’emrationalize,’ which means to intensify. It is therefore possible that sparkle was originally used as an emotional boost, similar to a placebo.
Whatever the origin of the term ’emphysema’ and its etymology, it is currently considered to be a highly addictive stimulant. It is also a known stimulant, which can come in handy if you plan on being late for work! In fact, if you are going on vacation, you will probably want to avoid sparkle cigarettes because they are far more dangerous than normal cigarettes and you could end up having an accidental orgasm, which would not only put a strain on your hemorrhoid recovery but also make you extremely uncomfortable.
The most common way in which a person with emphysema can attain a high is through smoking, so much so that the American Heart Association classifies cigarette smoking as a type of tobacco dependence. This may sound harsh, but cigarette smoking is classified as a form of nicotine addiction, which has no concrete treatment. Therefore, while there is no concrete etymology for the term’sparkle’ yet, there is no mistaking that it derives from the same root as ’emphysema’ – and, indeed, both are considered to be highly addictive stimulants. It is therefore no surprise that sparkles are used as a reward for good performance or a spur of the moment ‘ah-ha!’
Another etymology for the verb ‘to sparkle’ is from the French verb’Esprit ‘to shine; to glitter’. In this case, it is not so much the sparkling particles that are being rewarded, but the general lightness of the light, which may not have any emotional meaning. So if you were doing your best at work, and your boss gave you a nice bonus, would you really feel great? I think most people would! Similarly, the ‘to sparkle’ verb can mean ‘to shine brightly; to exude or reveal beauty or sparkle’.
One interesting fact about the origins of the word ‘sparkle’ is that it stems from the Italian verb ‘sparsa’ meaning ‘to shine’. The modern expression ‘to shine like a diamond’ comes from the verb ‘sparto’ meaning ‘to scatter sparks’. So, one possibility for the origin of the modern term ‘to sparkle’ is when ancient people used small twigs and other things like leaves or animal dung as symbols of romantic love or spiritual connection. These were rubbed off onto clothes or otherwise used as symbols of romance, which would then be worn or rather splashed on surfaces to show off the sparkle. It is this idea that giving ‘to sparkle’ its modern meaning, and perhaps even explains why so many people feel a need to sparkle every once in a while!
One fascinating thing about the etymology of the word ‘sparkle’, is that despite the obvious similarities to other European words such as ‘sparke’ (Danish), ‘spark’ (Swedish), and ‘sparkling’ (Norwegian), no contemporary English word that we use today has come close to resembling the original stem word for the verb. It is interesting to speculate whether ‘spark’ was chosen as a synonym for ‘lightning bolt’ because the idea was to give off a small burst of light similar to a ‘lightning bolt’. But it does provide an interesting parallel with our modern usage of the verb ‘to sparkle’. It would seem that if you want to make something sparkle, or at least shine, then rub some dry ice on it! Perhaps a better example would be to set a piece of sparkly jewellery on a table to reflect the change of light within the room.