What does Etymology mean?
Pronunciation of etymology
Etymology is the study of word origins and roots. The word “etymology” has an interesting origin itself:
The first part, “etymo,” derives from the Greek word, “etymos,” which means “true meaning.” The second part, “logy,” derives from the Greek “logos,” which means “study of science.” So etymology, literally, is the study of true meaning.
Etymology is also the investigation of word histories. It forms part of the wider field of historical linguistic research, that is to say of attempts to explain how and why languages have changed and developed in the ways that they have.
For example, etymology can tell us that English Friar was borrowed from Old French Frere ‘brother’, which in turn developed from Latin Frâter ‘brother’.
Where do the words we use come from?
English is a blend of words from many other languages. These words made their way into the English language in many ways like occupation by other countries/cultures, English occupation of other countries/cultures, brought by immigrants or cultural trends and fashions.
Why should we learn word roots?
When we see the importance of etymology, and start looking up word origins ourselves, we begin to realize that we’ve found the key to a whole new understanding and appreciation of the English language.
We will recognize word chunks in unfamiliar words and be able to narrow down the possible meaning of the word
It will help you with vocabulary in many subject areas
We will be better able to pronounce unfamiliar words
We will become a better speller
We’ll have a much better grasp of the things we read: magazines, textbooks, newspapers, novels.
Since many languages have common roots to Latin and Greek, it makes learning a foreign language easier