The Oxford Etymologist considers feminist perspectives of language development, split infinitives, and the pronoun “they” as discussed in Valerie Fridland’s “Like, Literally, Dude: Arguing for the Good in Bad English.”
The Oxford Etymologist considers “like” as discussed in Valerie Fridland’s “Like, Literally, Dude: Arguing for the Good in Bad English.”
The Oxford Etymologist answers readers’ questions about American English vowels, the word “night”, and “love” in English and Greek.
Quite naturally, speakers connect words that sound alike. From a strictly scholarly point of view, “sore” and “sorrow” are unrelated, but for centuries, people thought differently, and folk etymology united the two long ago.
The Oxford Etymologist looks at the origin of the word “day” and its connections across the Indo-European language world.
The Oxford Etymologist tackles the convoluted history of “bud” and “buddy” – the final part of the series.
The Oxford Etymologist tackles the convoluted history of “bud” and “buddy”.
Observing how various words for “friend” originate and develop is a rather curious enterprise.
All over the Indo-European map, the main word of negation begins with “n”. What is in this sound that invites denial, refutation, or repulsion?
The Oxford Etymologist dives into the history and meaning of the word “coward” – and what does cowardice have to do with custard?
Always, let me thank our correspondents for consulting the blog, asking questions, and offering words of encouragement.
The root of riddle “puzzle,” from rædels(e), is Old English rædan “to read.”
The Oxford Etymologist explores the etymological development and history of the word “hooker.”
Problems emerge the moment we begin to explore the history of filch, because two homonymous verbs exist: filch “to attack” and filch “to steal.” They are almost certainly unrelated.
Three English words sound as rake: the garden instrument, the profligate, and a sailing term meaning “inclination from the perpendicular.” Though at first sight, they do not seem to be connected, I’ll try to show that their histories perhaps intertwine.
At first sight, the origin of the verb “scratch” looks unproblematic… The Oxford Etymologist scratches beneath the surface of “scratch.”