What's in a Word?: Etymological Gossip about Some Interesting English Words
Modern English is rich in words derived from sources as diverse as classical Latin and Greek, Indonesian and other Asian languages, European mythology and religion, and the popular culture of many times and places. In this survey of the origins of several hundred familiar English words, linguist Robert Gorrell explores the myriad ways our language has been shaped by successive conquests of Britain by the Romans, Germanic tribes, and Normans; by borrowings from Greek (which followed the spread of Christianity into the British Isles), Arabic, Native American languages, French, and others; and by the spread of British conquerors, colonists, and merchants around the world.
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one Roots from Rome
two Adapting Latin
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abbreviated acquired adopted in English America American slang ancient ancient Greece Anglo-Saxon animal apparently applied back to Latin became English blue called cially cloth coinage coined combined comes from Latin common connotations created derived describe designate dialect different word Dutch early eighteenth century England English adopted English words espe especially etymology example fawney gaudy Gelett Burgess German goes back Greek H. L. Mencken Hoghton Tower humor Indo-European interesting Italian kind language Latin word legend lish literal McCoy meant ment Middle English modern notion noun Old English Old French Old Norse onomatopoeia original meaning Oxford English Dictionary perhaps person phrase poke popular prefix produced English real McCoy refer Roman root Saint scalawag screw sense seventeenth century shebeen shifted shortened sixteenth century slang sometimes sound source of English Spanish specific spelling story suggests teenth century term tion usage usually various verb word comes