Language and Linguistics

Etymology meaning and examples division of words classification


From the Latin etymology, which in turn has its origin in a Greek word, etymology is a linguistic specialty that studies the origin of words by considering their existence, meaning, and form. We are describing here the  Etymology meaning and examples

1) a section of linguistics that studies the origin of semantic unit of a text. In other words;

2) any hypothesis about the origin of a particular word (less often – another linguistic unit,

for example, a suffix or idiomatic expression). This latter understanding distinguishes between “near etymology” – the identification of derivational connections of a word with other words of the same language that have darkened over time – and “distant etymology” – the identification of word connections outside the language in question


Etymology is subdivided into linguistics as popular etymology, paretology etymology, cross etymology or associative etymology, this is what the pseudoscientific method of explaining the origins of semantic unit of a text. In other words is called, which is fundamentally based on popular beliefs and traditions, using similarities with similar voices or homophones and thus trying to find the relationships between their meanings.

This has several ways of appearance:

  1. Popular etymology by paronymic attraction.
  2. Popular etymology due to sporadic phonetic change.
  3. Popular etymology by semantic analogy.

25 Examples of word etymology:

  1. Anthropology . It comes from the Greek anthropo- (which means ‘man’) and the Greek lógos (which means ‘treatise’). Meaning of the word: ‘science that studies the human being’.
  2. Anthropoid . It comes from the Greek anthropo- (which means ‘man’) and the Greek eïdos (which means ‘aspect’, ‘form’). Meaning of the word: ‘that looks like or resembles the human being’.
  3. Action . It comes from the Latin actio, actiōnis : actus (which means ‘something that is carried out’) and the suffix -cion (which means ‘action and effect’). Meaning of the word: ‘the result of doing something’.
  4. Lycanthropy. It comes from the Greek lykanthrōpía ( λυκανθρωπία ): lýkos ​​(which means ‘wolf‘) and antropos- (which means ‘man’). Meaning of the word: ‘transformation of a human being into a wolf’, ‘mental disorder in which a person believes that he has become a wolf’.
  5. Misfortune . It comes from the Latin infortunium : prefix in- (with a sense of negation) + Fortūna (which means ‘luck’) + suffix – io (which means ‘result’). Meaning of the word: ‘adverse fortune’, ‘state or result of having bad luck’.
  6. Denial . It comes from the Latin negatio : negare (to say no) and the suffix -cion (which means ‘action and effect’). Meaning of the word: ‘the action and the effect of saying no or denying something’.
  7. Lack . It comes from the Latin carentia : carere (which means ‘deprivation of something’) and the suffix -ia (which means ‘quality’). Meaning of the word: ‘deprivation or lack of something’.
  8. Philanthropy . It comes from the Greek philanthrōpía (φιλανθρωπία) : philos (which means ‘friend’) and the Greek anthropo- (which means ‘man’). Meaning of the word: ‘love to the human being’.
  9. Android . It comes from the modern Latin androids, and this one from the Greekanḗr ( ἀνήρ) , andrós (ἀνδρός) which means ‘male’ and eïdos (which means ‘aspect’, ‘form’). Meaning of the word: ‘that looks like a man’, ‘automaton that has a human figure’.
  10. Gynecology . It is formed by the prefix gynecologic that comes from the Greek gynaikos, gynē- (meaning ‘woman) and the Greek logos (meaning’ treaty ‘). Meaning of the word: ‘branch of medicine that studies the female reproductive system’
  11. Psychology . It comes from the Greek psyché – (which means ‘soul’, ‘mind’) and the Greek lógos (which means ‘treatise’). Meaning of the word: ‘science that studies the human mind and behavior’
  12. Etymology . It comes from the Greek etymology ( ἐτυμολογία ): from etymos (which means ‘true’), the Greek lógos (which means ‘treatise’, ‘word’) and the suffix – ia (which means ‘quality’). Meaning of the word: ‘origin of the meaning and form of the words‘.
  13. Gastronomy . It comes from the Greek gastronomy ( γαστρονομία) : from gaster, gastrós (which means ‘stomach’), nomos (which means ‘rule’) and the suffix – ia (which means ‘quality’). Meaning of the word: ‘art or quality of preparing food well’
  14. Cacophony . It comes from the Greek kakophōnía ( κακοφωνία): from kakós (which means ‘bad’ or ‘bad’), the Greek phoné (which means ‘sound’) and the suffix – ia (which means ‘quality’). Meaning of the word: ‘combination of sounds that is not harmonic’
  15. Sound . It comes from the Latin sonĭtus : from sonare (which means ‘to produce or make a sound’) and the suffix – ido (which means ‘something that can be perceived by the senses’). Meaning of the word: ‘sensation in the auditory apparatus caused by the vibration of the bodies’.
  16. Euphoria . It comes from the Greek euphoría (εὐφορία) which means ‘easy capacity to endure’, ‘quality of supporting something’ or ‘feeling of well-being’. Meaning of the word: ‘enthusiasm or optimism’.
  17. Way . It comes from the vulgar Latin cammīnus and this in turn is of Celtic origin. Meaning of the word: ‘land through which one travels’, ‘direction that is followed’, ‘mode of behavior’.
  18. Wolf . It comes from the Latin lupus . Word Meaning: ‘Sharp-headed, hairy, wild carnivorous mammal’
  19. Wild . It comes from Catalan and Occitan salvatge ; this in turn from the French sauvage, and this from the Latin silvaticus : silva (jungle). Meaning of the word: ‘that grows without being cultivated’, ‘undomesticated animal’, ‘something primitive or uncivilized’
  20. Hydraulic . It comes from the Latin hydraulĭcus, and this to its z from the Greek gr. hydraulikós (ὑδραυλικός) which refers to a ‘musical organ moved by water‘. Meaning of the word: ‘that is moved by means of water‘.
  21. Ephebology . It comes from the Greek éphebos- (which means ‘adolescent’; from epí which is ‘en’ + hébe which means ‘adolescence’) and the Greek lógos (which means ‘treatise’). Meaning of the word: ‘part of psychology that is dedicated to studying the stage of adolescence’.
  22. Lord . It comes from the Latin senior, -ōris (which means ‘older’). Meaning of the word: ‘person who governs in a certain area‘, ‘person who reaches a certain age’, ‘respectable person and of a certain category’.
  23. Elder . It comes from the Latin antianus, this in turn is formed by the prefix ante- (which means ‘before’). Meaning of the word: ‘person of an advanced age’.
  24. Biodegradable . It is formed by the prefix bio-, which comes from the Greek bíos (which means’ life ‘), and de degradar , a word which comes from the Latin degradāre : de- (‘ which goes from top to bottom) + gradus (which means ‘step’ or ‘rung’) + the suffix -able (which means ‘something that can’). Meaning of the word: ‘that can be degraded by biological action’)
  25. Life . It comes from the Latin vita . Meaning of the word: ‘force or energy of organic beings’, ‘fact of being alive’.

Etymology and division of words

Words of any natural language can be – according to their origin – divided into the following groups

  1.  original words, i.e. words inherited from the ancestor language (the most numerous group);
  2.  words formed with the help of existing (or pre-existing) word-formation means in the language;
  3.  words borrowed from other languages;
  4.  artificially created words (a group not represented in all languages);
  5.  words that have arisen as a result of various “language mistakes”.

Groups of words by origin and use

1-Common vocabulary Common vocabulary

includes words that are constantly used in speech and are known to all native speakers. These words, expressing the main life concepts, are the most important part of the language, represent its core. Most of the common vocabulary is stylistically neutral.

For example water, land, forest, bread, work, eat, head, etc.

2-Uncommon vocabulary.

These are words of limited use that are used by certain people in different professions, activities, or geographic areas.

The structure of non-common vocabulary includes dialectisms, jargon and professionalisms, and terms (special vocabulary).

3-Dialect vocabulary

Dialectal vocabulary consists of words characteristic of the speech of people living in the same area. As a rule, such vocabulary is used orally and represents the colloquial and everyday speech of rural residents.

For example vyadro (bucket), kochet (rooster), zhamki (gingerbread).


Slangs are words that are used in a speech by certain social groups of people. Slang vocabulary has a narrow sphere of use: it is used mainly when communicating with “friends”, with people of the same social circle.

Known, for example, youth, military, student, criminal, and other jargons.

For example computer (computer) lab (laboratory work), spur (cheat sheet).

5-Professionalisms and terms (special vocabulary)

Professional vocabulary is used in certain areas of activity, professions, fields of science. The composition of such vocabulary includes words or phrases that name special concepts of any field of science, art, or production that have not become common. In explanatory dictionaries, terms and professionalisms are labeled “special”. Each area of ​​knowledge operates with its own professionalism and terms. By the way, there are differences between them.

Terms are special names for specific objects, phenomena, concepts.

For example a scalpel – from surgeons, the autonomy of will – from lawyers, thinning – from hairdressers.

Professionalisms are words that are rather characteristic of the speech of people engaged in a certain type of activity.

For example the steering wheel (steering wheel) – from the drivers, the ending (graphic decoration at the end of the book) – from the printers.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button