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Search tags: etymology
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url 2016-12-15 13:47
BookRiot: Cracking the Names Behind A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

Most of us have grown up with Scrooge’s Christmas Eve escapades. We know the plot, the catch phrases, the every “bah, humbugs!” like the back of our hands. The names Ebenezer, Jacob Marley and Bob Cratchit are now as deeply familiar to us as Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty. We know it all. Or do we? What is it about those Victorian names that haunt our yuletide imagination? What are they hiding about the characters we re-invite into our homes every year? And what, moreover, do they say about Dickens’ supposedly simple tale that may not be so simple after all?

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text 2015-06-05 10:34
Reading progress update: I've read 114 out of 368 pages.
Das Schloss in den Wolken - Nadine Püschel,Maud Montgomery Lucy Maud Montgomery
"[...] He can, it seems, get along without you. Which IS an unpardonable sin, of course, in your little snobocracy." Valancy coined that concluding word suddenly and felt that it was an inspiration. That was exactly what they were and not one of them was fit to mend another.

I looked up the word: The Blue Castle was first published in 1926, but the word snobocracy dates back to 1853, according to Etymonline.com; what's more, it can be found in the 1913 edition of Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary.

Sorry, Valancy, you didn't coin this word. I wonder who did...

The origins of the word "snob" are uncertain, BTW.

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url 2013-12-01 00:18
Maps Showing the Etymological Origin of Everyday Words

Rita Mae Brown said: "Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going."

 

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Source: www.businessinsider.com/european-maps-showing-origins-of-common-words-2013-11
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url 2013-07-02 16:55
12 Old Words that Survived by Getting Fossilized in Idioms

I especially like the etymology for 'sleight', as in 'sleight of hand' (no. 4 on the list). Many of these are great. Do wish Mental Floss would give their source(s) for their info, however.

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review 2011-04-05 00:00
Word Origins ... and How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone
Word Origins ... and How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone - Anatoly Liberman This was fun to read — not only does Liberman lay out very sound methods for determining the histories of words, with occasional appropriate ridicule of the storytelling that some etymologists have engaged in, but he peppers his prose with wordplay and wit. He introduces some ideas that were a bit unexpected to me. For example, he thinks the role of "sound symbolism" is quite important — that is, people either alter existing words or create ones with an appropriate sound to the subject, like pig, pug, pod, pad, etc. being appropriate to something "swollen". Also, his idea of etymology hopes to get to the origin of the word — either when it was coined or when it split off from related words in a sort of speciation event. I hadn't considered being that daring. But he's appropriately cautious about the subject of the origin of language itself, of course.
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