What is Etymology?  Subscribe E-mail  Words Bookshop  Link to this Site  Take Our Survey  Add to Favorites

BORED? Play our free word gamesINTERACTIVE HANGMAN

What is Etymology?

The word etymology is derived from the Greek etumos which means real or true. The ending ology suggests the study/science of something, as in biology or geology. And that is the etymology of etymology. It is the study of the origins of words; how they evolved. Confused?

Here is another example. The Ancient Greek word hippos means horse. And potamus means river. Hence hippopotamus literally means river horse.

A few other parts of words derived from Ancient Greek are tele (long distance), micro (small), phone (speak), and scope (look). From these come such words as telephone, telescope, microphone, and microscope.

Of course not all words are derived from Ancient Greek. The English language is a rich mixture of many languages, and that is what makes its etymology so interesting. In the Interesting Etymology section you can learn how many words came about, particularly those with amusing origins. We also have a page about the origins of sayings and expressions.

If you are keen to discover more, browse the reviews in the etymology section of our online language bookstore. There are very many excllent books on etymology and dictionaries of etymology available.

Links to Etymology Pages

Do you know anyone else who would enjoy this? Email this page to a friend.
Also: Sign up for our free web site updates here.

[Top of Page] [Home Page] ©1999-2024 Fun-with-words.com
Recommended Book:
World's Toughest Tongue Twisters ...
Buy this book at Amazon
View all in this category:
Tongue Twisters Books
Hundreds more books at:
Wordplay Book Store

Wild Madagascar on BBC Two
with David Attenborough