What is Etymology?
Etymology is simply the study of the history of words.
how the word Etymology is spelled
For example, most people in the English speaking world would likely be unaware that etymology has something to do with what is referred to as the “word game.” Those familiar with the popular children’s television show, Dora the Explorer might have noted the episode “Picking Rose,” which spoofs American pick-up games and the process of picking out girls with unique personalities. The episode revolves around a rambunctious foursome who travel to Paris in order to meet the new ladies-to-be. Upon arriving there, they spend the day observing Paris and finally decide to head back home to enjoy a relaxing bubble bath.
Within the episode, Dora and her newfound friends make reference to Latin origins when wondering what is etymology. To better understand the significance behind this term, it is important to first become aware of what Latin roots mean.
The question as to what is etymology has also been addressed in recent years through the study of comparative languages. Comparative languages refer to any language that borrows elements from other tongues, including Latin, English, Greek, and other Indo-European tongues. In terms of etymology, a number of languages share similar meanings.
Comparative linguists examine the similarities and differences of languages using both literary and spoken forms. Etymology can also be studied as a whole, focusing on the relationships between origin, description, and language use.
In order to grasp the full meaning behind what is etymology, it is important to examine the various aspects of Latin origins. These include the country of origin, which can determine where a word originated; the use of Latin derivatives for foreign languages; and the incorporation of words from other languages. As a student of etymology, it is important to remember that although Latin roots are difficult to decipher, new words are often easier to learn.