If you don’t mow your lawn all summer, don’t be surprised if your neighbors complain that it resembles a wilderness, a wild area that is not tended by humans.
The wilderness is of course filled with many animals, but did you know that the name of an animal is hidden in the word wilderness? The word actually is a combination of wild plus the Old English word dēor, along with the ending -ness, used in nouns that refer to a certain condition. While dēor eventually turned into our modern word deer, it didn’t refer to the antlered Bambi we imagine. It was simply the word for “animal.”