Query About Etymological Discoveries

Geoff Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Mon Sep 21 16:58:41 UTC 2009

Don't forget 'jazz'!

Geoffrey S. Nathan
Faculty Liaison, C&IT
and Associate Professor, Linguistics Program
+1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
+1 (313) 577-8621 (English/Linguistics)

----- "Fred Shapiro" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU> wrote:

> From: "Fred Shapiro" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 12:43:26 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
> Subject: Query About Etymological Discoveries
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Query About Etymological Discoveries
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I am writing an article about etymological discoveries of recent
> decades, exploring the question of whether anyone pays any attention
> to discoveries that shed factual light on the derivation of a term or
> whether the media and the public continue believing in erroneous
> derivations despite the discovery.  Some examples of "etymological
> discoveries" of recent decades would be _O.K._ deriving from _oll
> korrect_, _hooker_ not deriving from the name of a Civil War general,
> _bug_ 'computer defect' not deriving from the discovery of a moth
> inside an early computer, _in like Flynn_ not deriving from Erroll
> Flynn's trial, _flack_ not deriving from _flak_.  Can anyone suggest
> other examples?
> Note that I am not asking for discoveries that push back the earliest
> date of usage of a term (the "when") without affecting "why" a term is
> used.
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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