THE ETYMOLOGICON

An Etymological Glossary of the English Language
With Special Reference to Non-Standard English,
Archaic, And Uncommon Words



A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Welcome to the Etymologicon. This is continually a work in progress, now containing well over two thousand entries. The aim of the Etymologicon is to catalogue and etymologize words which appear in English, but may not necessarily be considered "Standard English." Special attention is paid to slang terms, neologisms, contractions, abbreviations, foreign loan words, vulgarisms, dialectical variants, archaisms and generally obscure or particularly interesting words. The glossary currently has a large percentage of words from Black Vernacular English, or more popularly "Ebonics." This stems from its absorption of my work on that subject for a project which has been currently either abandoned or postponed. Black Vernacular English yields a wide variety of alternate spellings which generally conform to set rules. They are above and beyond the simple concept of "misspellings," as we are often led to believe.

As mentioned earlier, this is a work in progress which will be continually updated, so feel free to drop back and check out new additions in the future. Feel free to send suggestions or comments to me at gendler at panikon dot com.



first disclaimer - One should remember that etymology is often far from an exact science. Etymology is almost always folk-etymology on some level. The cases where we know exactly how a word was formed is rare, and such usually rests on someone's say-so. Almost every source is wrong on something and few people agree about very much. I have already deleted or changed many entries as more information has been discovered.

second disclaimer - Many pejorative or derogatory terms are included, such as cracker, honky, afro-saxon, oreo, Uncle Tom, wigger, maricone, breeder etc. I would like to state that we do not endorse or condone the usage of these words. These words are listed here solely for curiosity and information's sake.

further comments - This work only contains some rudimentary dialectology. Commonly, words often cited as dialectic for one area appear in another area as well. Besides the problem of accuracy, language has been rapidly becoming globalized through the media and the Internet. I estimate that over 60% of the examples herein were culled from either the Internet or internationally distributed periodicals. The incidence is significantly higher when we look only at words which may be considered "dialectical."