The Etymolgy of Words

by Aishah Macgill

I have a long held fascination with the origin of words and phrases. Like the old story of why we say “bless you” when someone sneezes.¬† In case you don’t already know, it stems from the time the black plague struck London and one of the symptoms was sneezing. A good samaritan would say, “May God bless you,”¬† just in case the person who sneezed was carrying the plague. More likely the sneezed upon were thinking, “God save me,” but that’s beside the point.

The Dictionary defines etymlolgy as studying the true meanings and values of words.

The birth of a word and it’s historical evolution is very interesting. The origin of etymolgy itself derives from the greek word etumologia, meaning¬† ‘the essential meaning of a word seen in its origin or traced to it’s grammatical parts’.

I consider myself an amateur etymologist. Every now and then when I stumble upon an interesting word, I will let you know.

To read about some more interesting words, click here.