A to Z Challenge 2013

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Etymology

In keeping with this month's theme, I had to choose Etymology for E:

The study of origins of words

Not only is it a cool sounding word, it perfectly fits with this theme. 

Although I've never studied Latin or Greek, I've always been interested in languages and Etymology (before I even knew it had a name).  I studied Russian in the military, picked up some German before I went overseas, and I even took a couple of semesters of Japanese in college.

It's interesting to see how many similar words there are in seemingly different cultures.   For example, in Spanish the name for library is biblioteka (transliterated).  In Russian, its bibliotyeka (transliterated).  Only a slight difference in pronunciation for the same word but the cultures are miles apart.

Any other cool E words you can think of?  What about similarly sounding words from different cultures?


DL Hammons said...

How silly do I feel? For a moment there I thought you were going to talk to us about bugs! :)

DL Hammons @ Cruising Altitude 2.0
Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Rick Daley said...

Much of the similarity between languages comes from Latin, it's the root of many European languages.

I read something once that show similarities for words on both sides of the Atlantic, and these are from cultures that pre-date the noted historical crossings. So much of history has been lost, you have to look at legends like Noah, Atlantis, and the Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh and wonder what calamity really did happen thousands of years ago...

Theresa Milstein said...

Etymology is the perfect choice for a writer!

I don't have a list, but the versions in different languages for "mother" often begin with "M" even for cultures separated by oceans. It makes me think that because babies do that sound pretty early, it somehow became the word for mom.

Scribe said...

Responding to your comment, Theresa.

There is a correlation between the names for parents between many languages, and it does come from the earliest sounds babies make. It is an interesting study.

Did you know that infants are capable of making all the sounds in any human language? These then are systematically lost through lack of use.

The study of linguistics and the origin of words fascinates me.

Thanks for the great blog, Eric.