Readers of this blog have undoubtedly noticed my fascination with the English language, how it works, and where it came from. None of the other seven languages I know have anything like the number of words or the rich and varied background of English. For that reason, I spend a fair amount of time studying the etymology of English.

What is etymology? According to Oxford Languages, etymology is defined as the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history.

And what is the etymology of the word “etymology”? Are you ready for this?

According to the web site, here is etymology’s etymology:

Late 14c., ethimolegia “facts of the origin and development of a word,” from Old French etimologie, ethimologie (14c., Modern French étymologie), from Latin etymologia, from Greek etymologia “analysis of a word to find its true origin,” properly “study of the true sense (of a word),” with -logia “study of, a speaking of” (see -logy) + etymon “true sense, original meaning,” neuter of etymos “true, real, actual,” related to eteos “true,” which perhaps is cognate with Sanskrit satyah, Gothic sunjis, Old English soð “true,” from a PIE *set- “be stable.” Latinized by Cicero as veriloquium.

Put differently, etymology is a word in two parts: etymo meaning an earlier form of a word in the same language or an ancestral language; and –ology, a branch of knowledge or field of study.

So you can see why this word craftsman is so intrigued by etymology. I am privileged to work in what is probably the richest and most diverse language in the history of the world. And, as a writer, words are my business.

How fortunate can you get?

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