May 27, 2009

TRULY SPEAKING: The Etymology of Etymology

Still confused about this week's bonus word? Here's the answer! I've collected (in addition to the definition of the word) a list of links to connect you to all things etymological. Enjoy!

First, the definition and word history: Etymology dates back to the 14th century in English, and means "the history of a linguistic form (as a word)," according to, and (according to Wiktionary) "an account of the origin and historical development of a word." (Truthfully, there's more to the definition—and you can learn it in full at either of those sites—but for our purposes here, this is the explanation that fits.) ... So, the etymology, or word history, of the word etymology is: from the Middle English etimologie, derived from the Old French ethimologie, which comes from the Latin word etymologia. This comes from the Ancient Greek word etumologia, a blend of two Ancient Greek words: etumon, meaning "true sense," and logia, or "the study of." We study the true sense of a word to learn its etymology.

If this kind of information gets you as excited as it does me—or even half as excited!—follow the links below for more word-sleuthing fun. And if you find all this word-speak to be just a little boring, it may help you to know that the science of etymology helps memorialize the evolution of language. (Gee, where have I heard that word before?) - an online dictionary of word etymology - a site that's "devoted to the origins of words and phrases"

Behind the Name - a dot-com site dedicated to the etymology of names in a variety of languages

Etymologically Speaking - a site that looks at the etymology of Romance language words (& my favorite site name!)

Rob's Old Norse Page - contains a list of English words derived from Old Norse

Sanskrit Etymological Sources - a page of Sanskrit etymology

(c) KiKi Productions, Inc. 2009

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