What the world really needs is more etymology

| Sunday, June 12, 2011
Etymology: derived from entomology (the study of insects), a rare example of an intentionally-originated word. In the 17th century scholars who wished to describe their strange obsession with words and their origins and meaning had no options. Recognizing the problem, they created etymology, which sounds like Latin, but is in fact complete gibberish (though most Latin is anyway, a little-known cause of the fall of Rome). It intentionally sounds like entomology, thereby causing confusion and presumably the opportunity to inform the confused person. In practice no one cares enough.

Well it's time to fix that! I'm going to be starting a weekly segment (which may last multiple weeks even) which will deconstruct the origins of words and phrases that we all know, but don't know why they mean what they do.

For example, next week I will cover the phrase "cock block" and the next week "shit-faced". You may be surprised to learn the longer-than-expected history of these phrases!


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