HOME

TheInfoList




Etymology ()
The New Oxford Dictionary of English ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identifiability of the referents of the noun phrases. The ca ...
(1998) – p. 633 "Etymology /ˌɛtɪˈmɒlədʒi/ the study of the class in words and the way their meanings have changed throughout time".
is the study of the
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

history
of
word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning. In many languages, words also co ...

word
s. By extension, the etymology of a word means its origin and development throughout history. For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts, and texts about the language, to gather knowledge about how words were used during earlier periods, how they developed in
meaning Meaning most commonly refers to: * Meaning (linguistics), meaning which is communicated through the use of language * Meaning (philosophy), definition, elements, and types of meaning discussed in philosophy * Meaning (non-linguistic), a general ter ...
and
form Form is the shape A shape or figure is the form of an object or its external boundary, outline, or external Surface (mathematics), surface, as opposed to other properties such as color, Surface texture, texture, or material type. A plane shape, ...
, or when and how they entered the language. Etymologists also apply the methods of
comparative linguistics Comparative linguistics, or comparative-historical linguistics (formerly comparative philology) is a branch of historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change ov ...
to reconstruct information about forms that are too old for any direct information to be available. By analyzing related languages with a technique known as the
comparative method In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...
, linguists can make inferences about their shared parent language and its vocabulary. In this way, word roots in European languages, for example, can be traced all the way back to the origin of the
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian subcontinent and the Iranian Plateau. Some European languages of t ...
language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), Signed language, sign, or often Written language, writing. The structure of languag ...
. Even though etymological research originally grew from the
philological Philology is the study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed o ...
tradition, much current etymological research is done on
language families A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed of glyphs to inscribe the original soun ...
where little or no early documentation is available, such as
Uralic The Uralic languages (; sometimes called Uralian languages ) form a language family of 38 languages spoken by approximately 25million people, predominantly in Northern Eurasia. The Uralic languages with the most native speakers are Hungarian lang ...

Uralic
and
Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambiguation ...
.


Etymology

The word ''etymology'' derives from the Greek word (), itself from (), meaning "true sense or sense of a truth", and the suffix ''-logia'', denoting "the study of". The term ''etymon'' refers to a word or
morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical item in a language. A morpheme is not a word. The difference between a morpheme and a word is that a morpheme bound and free morphemes, sometimes does not stand alone, but a word on this definition alw ...
(e.g., stem or root) from which a later word or morpheme derives. For example, the Latin word ''candidus'', which means "white", is the etymon of English ''candid''. Relationships are often less transparent, however. English
place names Toponymy, also toponymics or toponomastics (from grc, τόπος / , 'place', and / , 'name') is the study of '' toponyms'' (proper names A proper noun is a noun A noun (from Latin ''nōmen'', literally ''name'') is a word that functio ...
such as
Winchester Winchester is a cathedral city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It ...

Winchester
,
Gloucester Gloucester ( ) is a and the of in the South West of England. Gloucester lies on the , between the to the east and the to the west, east of , and east of the with . Including suburban areas, Gloucester has a population of around 150,000. ...
,
Tadcaster Tadcaster is a market town A market town is a European Human settlement, settlement that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages, the right to host market (place), markets (market right), which distinguished it from a vil ...

Tadcaster
share in different modern forms a
suffix In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
ed etymon that was once meaningful, Latin ''castrum'' 'fort'.


Methods

Etymologists apply a number of methods to study the origins of words, some of which are: *
Philological Philology is the study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed o ...
research. Changes in the form and meaning of the word can be traced with the aid of older texts, if such are available. * Making use of
dialectologicalDialectology (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''dialektos'', "talk, dialect"; and , ''-logy, -logia'') is the scientific study of linguistic dialect, a sub-field of sociolinguistics. It studies variations in language based primarily on geographic distrib ...
data. The form or meaning of the word might show variations between
dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'discourse', from , 'through' and , 'I speak') can refer to either of two distinctly different types of phenomena: * One usage refers to a of a that is a characteristic of a particular group of ...
s, which may yield clues about its earlier history. * The
comparative method In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...
. By a systematic comparison of related languages, etymologists may often be able to detect which words derive from their common ancestor language and which were instead later borrowed from another language. * The study of
semantic change Semantic change (also semantic shift, semantic progression, semantic development, or semantic drift) is a form of language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communication u ...
. Etymologists must often make hypotheses about changes in the meaning of particular words. Such hypotheses are tested against the general knowledge of semantic shifts. For example, the assumption of a particular change of meaning may be substantiated by showing that the same type of change has occurred in other languages as well.


Types of word origins

Etymological theory recognizes that words originate through a limited number of basic mechanisms, the most important of which are
language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
, borrowing (i.e., the adoption of "
loanwords A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning ...
" from other languages);
word formation In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
such as
derivation Derivation may refer to: * Derivation (differential algebra), a unary function satisfying the Leibniz product law * Derivation (linguistics) * Formal proof or derivation, a sequence of sentences each of which is an axiom or follows from the precedi ...
and
compounding In the field of pharmacy, compounding (performed in compounding pharmacies) is preparation of a custom formulation of a medication to fit a unique need of a patient that cannot be met with commercially available products. This may be done for med ...
; and
onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia (also onomatopeia in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Cur ...

onomatopoeia
and
sound symbolism In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
(i.e., the creation of imitative words such as "click" or "grunt"). While the origin of newly emerged words is often more or less transparent, it tends to become obscured through time due to sound change or semantic change. Due to
sound change A sound change, in historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historical linguistics include: # to describe and account for ...
, it is not readily obvious that the English word ''set'' is related to the word ''sit'' (the former is originally a
causative In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ph ...
formation of the latter). It is even less obvious that ''bless'' is related to ''blood'' (the former was originally a derivative with the meaning "to mark with blood").
Semantic change Semantic change (also semantic shift, semantic progression, semantic development, or semantic drift) is a form of language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communication u ...
may also occur. For example, the English word ''bead'' originally meant "prayer". It acquired its modern meaning through the practice of counting the recitation of prayers by using beads.


History

The search for meaningful origins for familiar or strange words is far older than the modern understanding of linguistic evolution and the relationships of languages, which began no earlier than the 18th century. From
Antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to Historical objects or periods Artifacts * Antiquities, objects or artifacts surviving from ancient cultures Eras Any period before the European Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...
through the 17th century, from to
Pindar Pindar (; grc-gre, Πίνδαρος , ; la, Pindarus; c. 518 – 438 BC) was an Ancient Greek lyric poet from Thebes. Of the canonical Canonical may refer to: Science and technology * Canonical form In mathematics Mathematics (from ...

Pindar
to Sir
Thomas Browne Sir Thomas Browne (; 19 October 1605 – 19 October 1682) was an English polymath and author of varied works which reveal his wide learning in diverse fields including science and medicine, religion and the esoteric. His writings display a ...
, etymology had been a form of witty wordplay, in which the supposed origins of words were creatively imagined to satisfy contemporary requirements; for example, the Greek poet
Pindar Pindar (; grc-gre, Πίνδαρος , ; la, Pindarus; c. 518 – 438 BC) was an Ancient Greek lyric poet from Thebes. Of the canonical Canonical may refer to: Science and technology * Canonical form In mathematics Mathematics (from ...

Pindar
(born in approximately 522 BCE) employed inventive etymologies to flatter his patrons.
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; AD 46 – after AD 119) was a Greek Middle Platonist Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC&nbs ...

Plutarch
employed etymologies insecurely based on fancied resemblances in
sound In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. ...

sound
s.
Isidore of Seville Isidore of Seville (; la, Isidorus Hispalensis; c. 560 – 4 April 636) was a Spanish scholar and cleric. For over three decades, he was Archbishop In many Christian denomination, Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ...
's ''
Etymologiae ''Etymologiae'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Ro ...
'' was an encyclopedic tracing of "first things" that remained uncritically in use in Europe until the sixteenth century. '' Etymologicum genuinum'' is a
grammatical In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...

grammatical
encyclopedia An encyclopedia (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, Amer ...
edited at
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (), Tsargrad (), Qustantiniya (), Basileuousa ("Queen of Cities"), Megalopolis ("the Great City"), Πό ...

Constantinople
in the ninth century, one of several similar
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...
works. The thirteenth-century ''
Legenda Aurea is one of many stories of the saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context ...

Legenda Aurea
,'' as written by Jacobus de Vorgagine, begins each ''
vita Vita or VITA (plural vitae) is Latin for "life", and may refer to: * ''Vita'', the usual start to the title of a biography in Latin, by which (in a known context) the work is often referred to; frequently of a saint, then called hagiography A hag ...
'' of a saint with a fanciful excursus in the form of an etymology.


Ancient Sanskrit

The
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; , , ) is a of that belongs to the branch of the . It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had there from the northwest in the late . Sanskrit is the of , the language of classical , and of h ...

Sanskrit
linguists and grammarians of
ancient India According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans Early modern human (EMH) or anatomically modern human (AMH) are terms used to distinguish ''Homo sapiens'' (the only extant Hominina species) that are anatomically con ...
were the first to make a comprehensive analysis of linguistics and etymology. The study of Sanskrit etymology has provided Western scholars with the basis of
historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including s ...
and modern etymology. Four of the most famous Sanskrit linguists are: * Yaska (c. 6th–5th centuries BCE) * (c. 520–460 BCE) * (2nd century BCE) *

(2nd century BCE) These linguists were not the earliest Sanskrit grammarians, however. They followed a line of ancient grammarians of Sanskrit who lived several centuries earlier like Sakatayana of whom very little is known. The earliest of attested etymologies can be found in
Vedic literature upright=1.2, The Vedas are ancient Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. Above: A page from the '' Atharvaveda''. The Vedas (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical la ...

Vedic literature
in the philosophical explanations of the ''
Brahmana The Brahmanas (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; , , ) is a of that belongs to the branch of the . It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had there from the northwest in the late . Sanskrit is the of , the la ...
s'', ''
Aranyaka The Aranyakas (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European langua ...
s,'' and ''
Upanishad The Upanishads (; sa, उपनिषद् ) are late Vedic Sanskrit texts of religious teachings which form the foundations of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion and ''dharma'', or way of life. It is the Major religious g ...
s''. The analyses of
Sanskrit grammar The grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as ...
done by the previously mentioned linguists involved extensive studies on the etymology (called ''
Nirukta ''Nirukta'' ( sa, निरुक्त, , "explained, interpreted") is one of the six ancient Vedangas, or ancillary science connected with the Vedas – the scriptures of Hinduism.James Lochtefeld (2002), "Nirukta" in The Illustrated Encyclopedi ...
'' or ''Vyutpatti'' in Sanskrit) of Sanskrit words, because the ancient Indians considered sound and speech itself to be sacred and, for them, the words of the sacred ''
Vedas upright=1.2, The Vedas are ancient Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. Above: A page from the '' Atharvaveda''. The Vedas (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical la ...

Vedas
'' contained deep encoding of the mysteries of the soul and God.


Ancient Greco-Roman

One of the earliest philosophical texts of the Classical Greek period to address etymology was the
Socratic dialogue Socratic dialogue ( grc, Σωκρατικὸς λόγος) is a genre of literary prose developed in Greece at the turn of the fourth century BC. The earliest ones are preserved in the works of Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, ...
''
Cratylus Cratylus ( ; grc, Κρατύλος, ''Kratylos'') was an History of Athens, ancient Athenian philosopher from the mid-late 5th century BCE, known mostly through his portrayal in Plato's Dialogues of Plato, dialogue ''Cratylus (dialogue), Cratylus'' ...
'' (c. 360 BCE) by
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the ...

Plato
. During much of the dialogue,
Socrates Socrates (; ; –399 BC) was a Greek philosopher from Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is the capital city, capital and List of cities in Greece, largest city of Greece. Athens domi ...

Socrates
makes guesses as to the origins of many words, including the names of the gods. In his
Ode An ode (from grc, ᾠδή, ōdḗ) is a type of lyrical stanza. It is an elaborately structured poem praising or glorifying an event or individual, describing nature intellectually as well as emotionally. A classic ode is structured in three maj ...
s
Pindar Pindar (; grc-gre, Πίνδαρος , ; la, Pindarus; c. 518 – 438 BC) was an Ancient Greek lyric poet from Thebes. Of the canonical Canonical may refer to: Science and technology * Canonical form In mathematics Mathematics (from ...

Pindar
spins complimentary etymologies to flatter his patrons.
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; AD 46 – after AD 119) was a Greek Middle Platonist Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC&nbs ...

Plutarch
(''Life of
Numa Pompilius Numa Pompilius (; 753–673 BC; reigned 715–673 BC) was the legendary second king of Rome The king of Rome ( la, rex Romae) was the chief magistrate Chief magistrate is a public official, executive or judicial, whose office is the highest ...

Numa Pompilius
'') spins an etymology for ''
pontifex A pontiff (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman R ...
'', while explicitly dismissing the obvious, and actual "bridge-builder":
The priests, called Pontifices.... have the name of Pontifices from ''potens'', powerful because they attend the service of the gods, who have power and command overall. Others make the word refer to exceptions of impossible cases; the priests were to perform all the duties possible; if anything lays beyond their power, the exception was not to be cavilled. The most common opinion is the most absurd, which derives this word from pons, and assigns the priests the title of bridge-makers. The sacrifices performed on the bridge were amongst the most sacred and ancient, and the keeping and repairing of the bridge attached, like any other public sacred office, to the priesthood.


Medieval

Isidore of Seville Isidore of Seville (; la, Isidorus Hispalensis; c. 560 – 4 April 636) was a Spanish scholar and cleric. For over three decades, he was Archbishop In many Christian denomination, Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ...
compiled a volume of etymologies to illuminate the triumph of religion. Each saint's legend in Jacob de Voragine's ''
Legenda Aurea is one of many stories of the saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context ...

Legenda Aurea
'' begins with an etymological discourse on the saint's name:
Lucy is said of light, and light is beauty in beholding, after that S. Ambrose saith: The nature of light is such, she is gracious in beholding, she spreadeth over all without lying down, she passeth in going right without crooking by right long line; and it is without dilation of tarrying, and therefore it is showed the blessed Lucy hath beauty of virginity without any corruption; essence of charity without disordinate love; rightful going and devotion to God, without squaring out of the way; right long line by continual work without negligence of slothful tarrying. In Lucy is said, the way of light.


Modern era

Etymology in the modern sense emerged in the late 18th-century European academia, within the context of the wider "
Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, link=n ...
," although preceded by 17th century pioneers such as ,
Gerardus Vossius Gerrit Janszoon Vos (March or April 1577, Heidelberg Heidelberg () is a in the of , situated on the river in south-west . In the 2016 census, its population was 159,914, of which roughly a quarter consisted of students. Located about sou ...

Gerardus Vossius
, Stephen Skinner,
Elisha Coles Elisha Coles (c. 1640 – 1680) was a 17th-century English lexicographer and stenographer. Life He was son of John Coles, schoolmaster of Wolverhampton, and nephew of Elisha Coles the religious author. He became chorister of Magdalen Colle ...
, and William Wotton. The first known systematic attempt to prove the relationship between two languages on the basis of similarity of
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the me ...
and
lexicon A lexicon is the of a or branch of (such as or ). In , a lexicon is a language's inventory of s. The word ''lexicon'' derives from word (), neuter of () meaning 'of or for words'. Linguistic theories generally regard human languages as c ...

lexicon
was made in 1770 by the Hungarian,
János Sajnovics János Sajnovics de Tordas et Káloz (Tordas, 12 May 1733 – Pest, Hungary, Pest, 4 May 1785) was a Hungarian people, Hungarian linguistics, linguist and member of the Society of Jesus, Jesuit order. He is best known for his pioneering work in co ...
, when he attempted to demonstrate the relationship between
Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephalonia, a municipality in Greece * Sami (ancient city), in Elis, Greece * Sami Bay, east of Sami, Ceph ...

Sami
and
HungarianHungarian may refer to: * Hungary, a country in Central Europe * Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing between 1000 and 1946 * Hungarians, ethnic groups in Hungary * Hungarian algorithm, a polynomial time algorithm for solving the assignmen ...
(work that was later extended to the whole in 1799 by his fellow countryman, Samuel Gyarmathi).Szemerényi 1996:6 The origin of modern
historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including s ...
is often traced to
Sir William Jones Sir William Jones (28 September 1746 – 27 April 1794) was an Anglo-Welsh philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and ...
, a Welsh
philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and writing, written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics (with especially strong ties to etymology). Philology is more commonly d ...
living in
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
, who in 1782 observed the genetic relationship between
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; , , ) is a of that belongs to the branch of the . It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had there from the northwest in the late . Sanskrit is the of , the language of classical , and of h ...

Sanskrit
,
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
and
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
. Jones published his ''The Sanscrit Language'' in 1786, laying the foundation for the field of
Indo-European linguistics Indo-European studies is a field of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional are ...
. The study of etymology in
Germanic philology Germanic philology is the philological study of the Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken ...
was introduced by Rasmus Christian Rask in the early 19th century and elevated to a high standard with the ''
German Dictionary German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language * Germanic peoples * Ger ...

German Dictionary
'' of the
Brothers Grimm The Brothers Grimm ( or ), Jacob Jacob (; ; ar, يَعْقُوب '' Yaʿqūb'', gr, Ἰακώβ, ''Iakṓb''), later given the name Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the ...
. The successes of the comparative approach culminated in the
Neogrammarian The Neogrammarians (German: ''Junggrammatiker'', 'young grammarians') were a German school of linguists Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods ...
school of the late 19th century. Still in the 19th century, German philosopher
Friedrich Nietzsche Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (; or ; 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, me ...

Friedrich Nietzsche
used etymological strategies (principally and most famously in '' On the Genealogy of Morals,'' but also elsewhere) to argue that moral values have definite historical (specifically, cultural) origins where modulations in meaning regarding certain concepts (such as "good" and "evil") show how these ideas had changed over time—according to which value-system appropriated them. This strategy gained popularity in the 20th century, and philosophers, such as
Jacques Derrida Jacques Derrida (; ; born Jackie Élie Derrida; See also . July 15, 1930 – October 9, 2004), born in Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers ...
, have used etymologies to indicate former meanings of words to de-center the "violent hierarchies" of Western
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

philosophy
.


Notable etymologists

*
Ernest Klein Ernest David Klein, (July 26, 1899, Szatmárnémeti – February 4, 1983, Ottawa Ottawa (, ; Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical ...
(1899-1983), Hungarian-born Romanian-Canadian linguist, etymologist * (born 1959), Indo-Europeanist, Slavist, Albanologist, lexicographer, and etymologist *
Anatoly Liberman Anatoly Liberman (russian: Анато́лий Си́монович Либерма́н; born 10 March 1937) is a linguist, medievalist, etymologist, poet, translator of poetry (mainly from and into Russian), and literary critic. Liberman is a prof ...
(born 1937), linguist, medievalist, etymologist, poet, translator of poetry and literary critic *
Michael Quinion Michael Quinion (born c. 1943) is a British etymologist and writer. He ran World Wide Words, a website devoted to linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of languag ...

Michael Quinion
(born c. 1943)


See also

* Bongo-Bongo *
Cognate In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...
* Epeolatry * Etymological dictionary * Etymological fallacy * False cognate * Folk etymology * Historical linguistics * Lexicology * Lists of etymologies * Malapropism * Medieval etymology * Neologism * Philology * Phono-semantic matching * Proto-language * Pseudoscientific language comparison *
Semantic change Semantic change (also semantic shift, semantic progression, semantic development, or semantic drift) is a form of language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communication u ...
* Suppletion * Toponymy * Wörter und Sachen


Notes


References

* Alfred Bammesberger. ''English Etymology''. Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1984. * Philip Durkin. “Etymology”, in ''Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics'', 2nd edn. Ed. Keith Brown. Vol. 4. Oxford: Elsevier, 2006, pp. 260–7. * Philip Durkin. ''The Oxford Guide to Etymology''. Oxford/NY: Oxford University Press, 2009. * William B. Lockwood. ''An Informal Introduction to English Etymology''. Montreux, London: Minerva Press, 1995. * Yakov Malkiel. ''Etymology''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. * Alan S. C. Ross. ''Etymology, with a special reference to English''. Fair Lawn, N.J.: Essential Books; London: Deutsch, 1958. * Michael Samuels. ''Linguistic Evolution: With Special Reference to English''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972. * Bo Svensén. “Etymology”, chap. 19 of ''A Handbook of Lexicography: The Theory and Practice of Dictionary-Making''. Cambridge/NY: Cambridge University Press, 2009. * Walther von Wartburg. ''Problems and Methods in Linguistics'', rev. edn. with the collaboration of Stephen Ullmann. Trans. Joyce M. H. Reid. Oxford: Blackwell, 1969.


External links

* *.
List of etymologies of words in 90+ languages

Online Etymology Dictionary
{{Authority control Etymology, Etymologists,