Need Help?

Get in touch with us



Grade 9
Sep 5, 2022

Etymology is the study of the history behind a word. The English language is living and growing. Although many words have been part of the language and vocabulary for many years, new words are added all the time.   

There are various ways in which language is influenced. 

Derived from Foreign Words – English has been commonly expanded by adding foreign words into it. English has mostly ancient Anglo-Saxon or Latin influences. Various other languages have also been added to our vocabularies. 

Through Technology & Products – words often reflect current interests, trends, and innovations. One of the recent additions to language has been computer technology, which has created words such as bytes, monitor, and disk. 

Another way new words come into vocabulary is through the development of products.


Some examples include:

  • Kleenex
  • Scotch tape
  • iPod

People’s Names – when a person invents something, that thing or invention becomes mostly associated with the person’s name. The person, through time, is forgotten while the name lives on. Examples include: 

  • mesmerize – F.A. Mesmer. 
  • Bowler hat – William Bowler. 
  • Saxophone – Adolphe Sax. 

Words from Letters – The initials of certain things replace their actual names. The initials become the words that represent the thing or concept; some examples include: 

  • TV – Television 
  • DUI – Driving Under the Influence 
  • COD – Cash On Delivery 

Word Histories – Some words also have histories. Learning the history behind the meanings is an excellent way to learn these words. The following are some examples. 

Nightmare – comes from German folklore, in which a “mare” is an evil spirit or goblin that haunts a sleeping person by suffocating them and giving them bad dreams. 


Quarantine – The word “quarantine” has its origins in the plague Black Death, which swept across Europe during the 14th century. Now the word “quarantine” refers to restricting the movement, for a period of time, of people or animals who seem healthy, but who might have been exposed to a harmful disease that could spread if left uncheck 


Related topics


Exploring the World of Adjectives: Types, Usage, and Examples

What are Parts of Speech? Parts of speech determine words’ grammatical and semantic position in a sentence. Activity time The parts of speech are nouns, adverbs, conjunctions, pronouns, interjections, adjectives, articles, prepositions, and verbs. Identify the parts of speech of the underlined words in the following sentences. White- Adjective Big- Adjective    Exciting- Adjectives New- […]

Memoir writing

Memoir Writing: Basic Elements, Structures, and Types

Memoir: A memoir is a narrative written from an author’s perspective about a particular facet of his/her own life. ‘Memoir’ word comes from the French word ‘memoire’, which means ‘memory’ or ‘reminiscence’. Example Night: Elie Wiesel gives an account of how he survived his teenage years at Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps during World War […]

Identifying the main idea

Identification of Main Idea in Fiction and Non-fiction

Every story or paragraph or non-fictional text has at least one main idea. The MAIN IDEA is what the text is mostly about. (It is backed up or supported by SUPPORTING DETAILS) Before discussing how to find the main idea, we shall first look at TOPIC. Can you define a topic? A topic can be […]

Writing an Article

Writing an Article: Structure and Essential Tips

What is an article? Structure of Article Writing : Title : Draw the attention of readers with an attractive title and indicate the main topic of the article Introduction : Attract the reader’s attention with a sentence that gives a general presentation of the topic. Main Body : Between these sentences, the body should do […]


Other topics