Poetry Corner – Etymology: The Origin of Words

Hello Dear Ones!

As both a poet and a writer, the origin of words is a fascinating topic. The knowledge and application of words is an essential tool for the poet. Comprehending the meaning is vital. Add to that the quality of understanding its root source, and you have an edge that enhances the gift of gab and the very presentation of form and function. Put it all together and you add a richness and a depth, to your work.

Learning about the origins of words has a classification all its own. Known as Etymology, it is the study of the origins of words. Here’s a terrific article on the topic! (Note: the [ … ] parenthesis are mine.)

Etymology: The Origin of Words

Becoming Interested in the Origin of Words

Words, like facts, are difficult to remember out of context. Remembering is greatly facilitated when you have a body of information with which to associate either a word or a fact. For words, interesting origins or histories will help provide a context. For example, a hippopotamus is a “river horse,” from the Greek hippos, meaning “horse,” and potamos, meaning “river.”

Indiana is called the Hoosier state, and its people Hoosiers. Why? In the early days, the pioneers were gruff in manner; when someone knocked at the front door, a pioneer’s voice would often boom, “Who’s yere?”

[I wasn’t comfortable with such a blatantly frivolous definition, so I checked further. Here’s what Wikipedia had to say:” The exact etymology of the word is unknown, but it has been in use since at least 1830. According to Bill Bryson, there are many suggestions for the derivation of the word “Hoosier,” but none is universally accepted.” Apparently the above quoted suggestion is an accurate possibility.]

If you were offered a Hobson’s choice, would you know what was meant? Thomas Hobson owned a livery stable in seventeenth-century England. He loved his horses, and to prevent any one horse from being overworked, he hired them out in turn, beginning with stall number one. Customers had to take the horses they were given. Thus Hobson’s choice means no choice at all. (Pauk, p. 314)

Etymology is the study of the origins of words. The English language is living and growing. Although many of our words have been part of our language for many years, new words are added all the time.

Click here for more …

A few rather unique words came to the surface as I did my research today. I chose to play with some of the more bizarre options:

Defining etymology defines its origin of use
Provides history, form and meaning
And, over time, some noticeable abuse.

Tick tocking sounds and other suchness
When word and sound do sound alike
Then onomatopoeia is the word of muchness.

Philology, philologically speaking,
Gives linguistic form and meaning
To the texture of your text.

Dialectology provides direction,
And with detection,
Informs location.

Had fun with those!

In Light and Laughter,


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