This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Nuts and Bolts: etymon.

The etymology of a word is its history, and it tells us two things: first, it tells us how the form of the word had changed over time; second, it tells us how its meaning has changed.

An etymon is a word that's given rise to another. It's sometimes called a root, or a stem (which is interesting in itself).

For instance, the etymon of the word scullery is the Latin scutra, a flat tray.

Though what use a non-flat tray might be I cannot imagine.

File:Tray, Edo period, 17th century, men pulling a rock design in maki-e lacquer - Tokyo National Museum - DSC05964.JPG
Men pulling a rock, lacquer, 1600s. Photo by Daderot

Word To Consider Today: etymon. Pleasingly, the etymon of the word etymon is etymon, which means true sense in Greek.

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