Tags » Etymology

Shakespeare and False Friends

There are a number of words in Shakespeare’s plays and poems which are deceptive to modern ears. They may seem familiar words but, in fact, camouflage a quite different meaning lost to modern English. 307 more words


In a word - panorama, which has outlived its original invention

A panorama is an image, usually broad in its extent, of landscape, and has seen extensive figurative application. What is remarkable is that it did not exist until 1789, and still thrives today. 388 more words



Attractive, or graceful; with simple beauty. Latin “elegans”=refined, tasteful < “legere”=to choose or pick out.


The Evolution of the Zipper

A zipper is something one rarely thinks about until it breaks.  It’s something we use every day, from trousers to jackets to purses to zip-lock bags.  257 more words


What is an eponym?

When you want to clean the floors, do you use a vacuum cleaner or a hoover? Do you wipe your nose on a kleenex or a tissue? 670 more words



Till: the target of will, as a point in time at which current action will be fulfilled; it is intent, supported by labour and with an anticipated end, either as a a point in the future, embedded in such terms as ‘until’ or ’till the cows come home’, or as the tilling of the soil in anticipation of future reward. 40 more words



Having good judgment about things such as art and fashion. Latin “sophisticare”=to argue/discuss < Greek “sofistis”=learned.