Category archives for Etymology

Hidden Meanings in “Publish or Perish”


Publish or perish! This pithy expression reminds (reminded) the academic of the Sword of Damocles which hangs over the head of the non-productive professor. There are work-arounds now, in that one becomes a member of some institute for a fee, which may then accept a work in its journal. It is the academic’s equivalent of […]

Etymological Word Game: Is Love Selfish, or Woe a Horse?


If ever there was a reason to study foreign languages, and not just one, I present here an idea for a parlour game, party game, rainy-day-stay-in-during-school-recess game – and should the linguistic level of the players not allow the level of creativity shown here, instead of an individual competition, one could have a brainstorming session, […]

Why I do not believe in Edenics


Edenics, a theory postulated by Isaac Mozeson,  is the theory that European languages came from Hebrew. That may be an interesting theory to be held by those who believe in the literal account of creation as found in the Bible or Torah. I would also posit that it conforms to the theory which I was […]

Defining “Adolescent” in Time and Loci


Abstract Defining common words may seem trite, but with the addition of reflection on their etymology, and the confines that these words may have in the context of a certain language groups – which limits a meaning to specific generations of people – and even to certain countries – we note barriers which are somewhat […]

When Children Were Gifts of God(s)


Children! A blessing or a curse?  That is an unfair way of putting it, perhaps, as the reader is potentially forced to accept one of two extremes which may not be the answer given if the question were not loaded. We will argue that they are a good to society, as potential adults.  In the […]

Punning (upon) “Government”


Abstract This article has the purpose presenting, both in hypothesis and in humour, ideas about the origin of the word government in 4 major languages – English, German, Russian, and Spanish.  The results can then be applied to other Romance and German tongues, more in jest than in fact.  It is the result of trying […]

Meaning of the Name “Vanessa”


Introduction Oh! To know the meaning of the name Vanessa, of which the Internet is full of contradictory information, outright falsehoods, and copies of other web pages. Let me tell you outright, Vanessa cannot mean butterfly, if the butterfly was named for Vanessa! Vanessa cannot be named after a Greek goddess, Phanessa, who never existed, […]