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debt - late 13c., dette, from O.Fr. dete
April 26, 2012 8:55 PM   Subscribe

With (O.E.) the (O.E.) push (O.Fr.) of a button (Fr.), get (O.Norse) and (O.E.) visualize (L.) the etymology (O.Fr.) of a piece (O.Fr.) of text (O.Fr.). Visualizing English Word Origins across genres of text.
posted by stroke_count (13 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
But what's the Greek root for "kimono?"
posted by nicebookrack at 9:02 PM on April 26, 2012


Nice find!
posted by carter at 9:15 PM on April 26, 2012


Anything four syllables or more is usually French.
posted by snofoam at 9:53 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


But what's the Greek root for "kimono?"

Mu.
posted by DataPacRat at 12:58 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting exercise, not least because it involves a lot of judgements which are open to challenge. How far back do you push an etymology? Is "etymology" really O.Fr, or does that sort of ignore the more interesting and earlier Greek root? When Dickens uses the word "apothecary" as an adjective (perhaps for the first time) doesn't that constitute a new coinage? On the other hand is it really legit to claim "baseball" as an American word when there are earlier sources in England - on the grounds that that was a slightly different game?
posted by Segundus at 1:01 AM on April 27, 2012


"is it really legit to claim "baseball" as an American word when there are earlier sources in England - on the grounds that that was a slightly different game?"

Yeah, this bugged me too. The word's earliest appearances are British and there's no reason to think that the games aren't related.
posted by litlnemo at 2:06 AM on April 27, 2012


Good find and nicely arranged FPP stroke_count.
posted by three blind mice at 2:40 AM on April 27, 2012


It's an interesting exercise, but a little naively done. Others have already raised a couple of objections, but one that struck me is the plural "-s". It's from Old English, even were it not general then. I also know that, as good as Doug Harper's collection is, it contains some errors.
posted by Jehan at 3:18 AM on April 27, 2012


Heh, Old English is just the glue between a bunch of Latin words.
posted by Joe Chip at 6:15 AM on April 27, 2012


They use distinct colors for Old English and Middle English, and for Anglo-French, Old French, and Middle French, but the same color for Greek and Latin? That makes no sense whatever.

As for baseball, yeah, it's from Britain (and no, it's not rounders); if you're interested in the subject, you need to read David Block's Baseball before We Knew It: A Search for the Roots of the Game (Amazon, book website). I thought I knew something about early baseball history before I read it, but it turned out I knew nothing, nothing! And neither do you, if you haven't read it. Go read it. (And while I'm recommending books on early baseball, also read Peter Morris's But Didn't We Have Fun?: An Informal History of Baseball's Pioneer Era, 1843-1870. Boy, is that a wonderful book.)
posted by languagehat at 6:23 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


"'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves..."
posted by notsnot at 6:42 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's some of that in Baseball in the Garden of Eden by John Thorn. I love the "secret" history of baseball being English.
posted by Edison Carter at 7:03 AM on April 27, 2012


> There's some of that in Baseball in the Garden of Eden by John Thorn.

Thanks, that looks great, and I just added it to my Amazon wishlist. (I checked with Look Inside the Book, and yes, he gives substantial credit to David Block.)
posted by languagehat at 11:27 AM on April 27, 2012


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