I Love Etymology

Personal Stories, Advice, and Support 54 People


    According to my dictionary, "Nickel" is an old Germanic word for the Devil. (In fact, I seem to recall reading a few stories in English in which the Devil was refered to as "old Nick".) And "pumpfer" was a German word which meant "fart". Since this bread is coarse and a bit hard...
    eddiecarbone eddiecarbone
    61-65, M
    Aug 17, 2013


    Start : from late 13c., "foolish, stupid, senseless," from O.Fr. nice "silly, foolish," from L. nescius "ignorant," lit. "not-knowing," from ne- "not"  + stem of scire "to know."  >to "timid" (pre-1300)>to "fussy, fastidious" (late 14c.)>to "dainty, delicate" (c.1400)>to...
    Chasing4flowers Chasing4flowers
    18-21, F
    Apr 25, 2012

    Etymology In Games

    I have always been a linguistics lover and the origin of words is really fascinating. Not just odd phrases or words we use.. but any word.  To be honest the odd ones usually have the most interesting stories though :)Most people just consider etymology as being applied to our...
    Mirvanna Mirvanna
    36-40, F
    1 Response Jul 29, 2011

    Taking a "parting shot".

    In ancient times, the Parthians were known for their archers on horses. They were so skilled, that even when the cavalry was in retreat, the riders could turn backwards and accurately shoot an arrow at the advancing enemy. Thus, they had a reputation for being a dangerous foe...
    eddiecarbone eddiecarbone
    61-65, M
    Jan 5, 2015

    Interesting origin of English words.

    Shampoo: From Hindi Champo Champo means to knead or massage (hair/head). Probably thats how hair was treated in India along with some herbal liquid/oil. What is your word today?
    indianocean indianocean
    36-40, M
    1 Response Mar 27, 2014

    The Name of the Group Says It All!

    I love pondering the origins of words, their similarity with their cognates in other languages, their slight degrees of difference from their synonyms, and the subtle shades of meaning their derivation gives the sentence. I study Latin, along with a smattering of Greek, which...
    foundpoetry foundpoetry
    22-25, F
    1 Response May 2, 2008

    One Of My Favorite Etymologies

    The word "legend" can refer to a tale with heroic or magical elements, but it can also refer to that inset on a map telling you what all the symbols mean. It turns out there is a connection. The Latin "legenda" is a participle form known as the gerundive. While gerundives had a...
    eddiecarbone eddiecarbone
    61-65, M
    2 Responses Aug 3, 2013


    Start: O.E. gedæfte "gentle, becoming">"to put in order, arrange">"suitable;" Goth. gadaban "to be fit") from PIE *dhabh- "to fit together.">Sense progression from "mild" (c.1200) >to "dull" (c.1300)>to "foolish" (mid-15c.)>to "crazy" (1530s) >to "halfwit" (current)
    Chasing4flowers Chasing4flowers
    18-21, F
    Apr 25, 2012


    One of the quite few Norwegian words in the English language, "troll" being another.Geologically, a fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steeps sides or cliffs (Wikipedia).Sognefjord, the world's third longest fjord, found in the West of Norway, not far from where I live. I've been...
    peanlo peanlo
    22-25, F
    4 Responses Jun 6, 2011

    Tracking A Word - Request Help

     I am trying to track the etymology and semantics of these words - can anyone help -  1. Balapila 2. Pilavar, Pillavar, Pilawar, Peelavaar, Peelawar 3. Bala Pilavar These words are probably with etymological history in south India, and may be consistent from about 1150...
    panduranga panduranga
    46-50, M
    May 28, 2010

    The Word "Grape"

    Usually we expect a lot of cognates among Indo-European languages, but consider the following: English: grape French: raisin Spanish/Italian/Latin: uva Greek: staphyli German: Weinbeere Spanish and Italian are the two modern languages most similar to Latin, and so they have...
    eddiecarbone eddiecarbone
    61-65, M
    1 Response Aug 6, 2013


    This is an excerpt from the book Latin Alive by Joseph B. Solodow, Cambridge Press. This is also where I got the info about "legend" in an earlier post. In this case, I will just give the passage from the book. " Around 1740, Admiral Edward Vernon of the British Navy ordered...
    eddiecarbone eddiecarbone
    61-65, M
    Aug 8, 2013
More Stories