Words That Aren’t As Related As They Appear (video)

I have posted a number of videos which look at the oddities of the English language, and like most writers, I have a deep fascination with etymology and language.

This next video, for example, shows us that English has many words which sound like they are related but actually have no connection.

The word penthouse, for example, omly coincidentally contains the word house; it was actually borrowed from the French, where the word “pentiz” means appendage. And there’s no “fish” in crayfish; that too was a corruption of a French word, “écrevisse”.

Similarly, there’s no “male” in “female”. The word male comes from the Latin “masculus” (the root of masculine, yes), while the word female came through French but actually goes back to the Latin word for young woman, “femella”.

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Nate Hoffelder

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Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

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  1. […] problem with "modernization" is that the editor might conflate two words that merely have similar spellings, but even if the editor is aware of a word's etymological history they might still introduce […]

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