Origin of etymology
historical usage of etymology
Ancient and medieval etymologies are mostly conjectures, puns, or folk etymologies, and are generally wildly incorrect. Cicero, for instance, gives the etymology of Venus (stem Vener- ), the goddess of love, as a derivation of the verb venīre “to come” because love and desire come to all. The most famous etymological howler in Latin is Lūcus a nōn lūcendō “Grove from there being no light,” a pun on lūcus “a clearing, grove” and lūcēre “to shine.” Lūcus a nōn lūcendō first appears in a commentary on the Aeneid by Maurus Servius Honoratus, a grammarian of the late 4th and early 5th centuries.
Common English folk etymologies include cockroach for Spanish cucaracha and chaise lounge for the correct chaise longue. In the case of cockroach, you have the unfamiliar Spanish sounds assimilating with two near-sounding English words, cock and roach. The longue in chaise longue means “long,” but to English readers, looks very close in spelling to lounge, which is a logical use for a chair that is made for reclining on.
Etymology in the sense “the linguistic science that investigates the origins of a word, its relationships with words in other languages, and its historical development in form and meaning” dates from the 1640s.
OTHER WORDS FROM etymology
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH etymologyentomology, etymology
How to use etymology in a sentence
“Device” and “divide” are etymological cousins; a good dramatic device often divides characters from what's “really” going on.
In a word, the term contains a series of expressive innuendos by its etymological derivation.Essays In Pastoral Medicine|Austin Malley
Neither progress in the languages nor knowledge of mathematics can compensate for the want of a thorough etymological discipline.Thoughts on Educational Topics and Institutions|George S. Boutwell
Another etymological example sometimes cited is the derivation of the English uncle from the Latin avus.A System of Logic: Ratiocinative and Inductive|John Stuart Mill
But in German, the etymological connexion between Sitte (custom) and Sittlichkeit (morality) is immediately apparent.The Sexual Life of the Child|Albert Moll
The hyphen distinguishes the etymological meaning of these words as distinguished from their derived and ordinary meaning."Stops"|Paul Allardyce