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Archive for the ‘etymology’ Category

September 4th, 2009 - 12:45 pm § in etymology, vocabulary, word origins, words of the day

Words of the Day (9/4)

Check out all my Words of the Day posts HERE. Note: OE = Old English; ME = Middle English; MnE = Modern English. Here are two etymologies that I find interesting. They come from The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. silly – This comes from the OE word sælig – ‘happy&[...]

September 2nd, 2009 - 1:49 pm § in etymological spelling, etymology, mysteries of english, pronunciation, spelling

Renaissance Spelling

Did you ever wonder why English has such a strange spelling system? There are countless reasons for this, but borrowing another language’s spelling rules is a major one. Throughout history, it was been in fashion to borrow aspects of language and culture from other admired countries. In Renais[...]

August 31st, 2009 - 2:00 pm § in back-formation, etymology, mass nouns, shakespeare, word formation, word origins

Back-formation

What is back-formation? Back-formation is when a shorter word (lexeme) is created from a longer word. Back-formation occurs when an affix (prefix, suffix) is taken away from a word to create a new one. The term back-formation refers to this process. Remember how the word “pea” came from [...]

August 28th, 2009 - 5:09 pm § in etymology, shakespeare, vocabulary, word origins, words of the day

Words of the day

Every Friday I’m going to post about the etymology (origins) of a few choice words or phrases. “for ever and a day” – meaning indefinitely. This comes from Shakespeare. He used it in two of his plays…1. The Taming of the Shrew (1596): BIONDELLO: I cannot tell; expect th[...]