Noraneko's Multilingual Musings

Thoughts on International Software Development, Simulations and Games, Women in Aviation and Gaming and not least of all, Languages and Linguistics


Etymology is Habit Forming

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I wonder if anyone else has this happen to them: Most morning, driving in to work and listening to NPR, I hear a word and thing "Where did that come from?" I can't wait to get into work so I can access the Oxford English Dictionary Online to find out. I was introduced to the OED by a fabulous English teacher. I will always remember the word I was assigned to look up in the vast collection of blue-bound volumes, knappan — An old Welsh game in which a wooden ball was hurled through the air by successive players, each side endeavouring to drive it as far as possible in one direction; also the ball with which this game was played, 1573.

I was hooked. Today's that I just had to look up was frisky — Given to frisking; lively; playful, c1500.

Another fun game is to take an every day sentence and see what the oldest and newest words are and how many first appeard in Beowolf.

"Flight Simulator is an incredible and amusing game."

  • Flight – 900
  • Simulator - 1899
  • Is (be) - c885
  • An (a) - c1175
  • Incredible - 1412-20
  • And - a1000
  • Amusing - 1603
  • Game – 1160 (Jackpot - Beowolf!)

If this sounds like fun, you might like this language game on BBC's site:

  • But it's *not* a game - it's a sim! :-)


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