History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Fun for Friday: Etymology of the Day

| April 5, 2019

If you’re a fan of etymology, check out Mashed Radish’s etymology of the day! Though it doesn’t seem to have any recent updates, there are a ton of word origins explained, complete with fun pictures!  

Fun for Friday: Folk Etymologies

| February 22, 2019

Sometimes, where we think a word came from is not necessarily the true story. According to Merriam-Webster, folk etymology is “the transformation of words so as to give them an apparent relationship to better-known or better-understood words.” This article talks about a number of cases of folk etymology, including the source of the words and […]

Fun For Friday: Lots of Etymology!

| January 25, 2019

If you’re as fascinated by word origins as I am, you might like this list: Etymologically Speaking. It’s one of the more extensive lists I’ve found for word origins, plus it also does some cool things with looking at the same word in several languages, showing how those words wound up similar or very different! […]

Fun for Friday: Color Etymology

| January 11, 2019

Why doesn’t anything rhyme with purple? Or orange? It might have to do with the origins of those words. This article on Gizmodo talks about the etymology of colors, or how they got their English names. But did you know that not all languages have words for every color? And there’s also the belief that […]

Fun for Friday: Band Name Origins

| November 2, 2018

If you’ve ever wondered how famous bands got their name, look no further! Wikipedia has you covered with this list of band name etymologies! It’s interesting to see the prevalence of names that come from dreams and also from Tolkien. Take a look through and see if your favorites are mentioned!

Fun for Friday: Interesting Facts about English

| June 15, 2018

Grammarly has a neat little article including ten interesting facts about the English language, which you can read here. In it, you can learn all about pangrams, ambigrams, and ghost words! The most fascinating fact to me is the last one, which states that the word “girl” did not originally mean a female child, but […]

Fun for Friday: More Interesting Etymologies

| February 9, 2018

I’m always interested in linguistics and etymologies. Here’s an article from a few years back where the Oxford Royale Academy has named 14 words with the most fascinating word origins in the English language.

Fun for Friday: The Etymology of February

| February 2, 2018

Did you know that originally, February didn’t even exist as a month? And that the Roman god Februus is named after a Roman festival from which the month takes its name, not the other way around? If you’re interested in word origins, check out this article about the origins of the name of the second […]

Fun for Friday: Winter Word Etymology

| December 8, 2017

Ever wonder where the English words for our seasons come from? Winter is, apparently, an old Germanic word that spread into other languages, but there are still some questions as to its roots. You can learn more about this at Oxford University Press’s blog. And if you’re interested in finding out about the other seasons, […]

Fun for Friday: Weird Word Origins, Thanksgiving Edition

| November 17, 2017

Just in time to impress your friends and family members around the Thanksgiving table, here is a list of the origins of ten common Thanksgiving words. In addition it talks a little bit about what goes into some of the foods we consume at Thanksgiving, including why marshmallows really aren’t marshmallows any more! So whether […]