Popular Etymology

Common Errors in Popular Etymology


“The fact is, man is an etymologizing animal. He abhors the vacuum of an unmeaning word. If it seems lifeless, he reads a new soul into it, and often, like an unskillful necromancer, spirits the wrong soul into the wrong body.”

–The Reverend A. Smythe Palmer, Folk-Etymology, 1890

While the stories may be fun, we should not delude ourselves by assigning false origins to words. In the words of Goethe:

“A false hypothesis is better than none at all. The fact that it is false does not matter so much. However, if it takes root, if it is generally assumed, if it becomes a kind of credo admitting no doubt or scrutiny–that is the real evil, one which has endured through the centuries.”

Words are spirits of intentioning.

One thinks to gain understanding.

Policies is self analysis government.

Certain popular terms of endearment.

Come up regularly in conversations.

Four letter words diversifications.

F-word, C-word- S-word etcetera.

Used in place of one that is better.

Discription as a type of presciption.

Analyse how to be of good diction.

Call the proctor first not the doctor.

Need understand the common factor.

Dictionaries bind society into community.

Thesaurus of parallel words synonymity.Referances

Swear words



Semantics definition