The average contemporary English speaker knows 50,000 words. Yet stripped down to its origins, this apparently huge vocabulary is in reality much smaller, derived from Latin, French and the Germanic languages. It is estimated that every year, 800 neologisms are added to the English language: acronyms (nimby), blended words (motel), and those taken from foreign languages (savoir-faire). Laid out in an A-Z format with detailed cross references, and written in a style that is both authoritative and accessible, Word Origins is a valuable historical guide to the English language.
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16th century adjective ancestor andthe AngloNorman applied borrowed from Old comes ultimately comes via Old comesfrom compound formed compound verb formed Danish denoted derivative derivativeof descendant developed diminutive form Dutch English acquired English via Old English words etymologically formed fromthe formedfrom froma fromLatin fromOld Germanic base Germanic languages given English goes back ultimately Greek hence IndoEuropean base inEnglish inthe intoEnglish Italian itwas late Latin Latin verb meaning meant literally medieval Latin metaphorical Middle Dutch Middle English modern English notion noun ofEnglish ofLatin ofthe Old English Old French Old Norse one’s originally meant passed into English past participle prefix prehistoric Germanic presentday probably produced English produced German reached English relatedto Sanskrit semantic source of English sourceof survived Swedish term the16th the17th century thesame theverb theword Thiswas tothe ultimate source ultimately from Latin underlying variant via Old French Vulgar Latin wasa whence English word comes word’s