The Etymology of Clichés

The Etymology of Clichés

Try to imagine the last time you had a conversation that didn’t involve a cliché. We often use these “trite phrases or expressions” without a second thought. But have you ever wondered about the etymology of clichés? Let’s spend some time looking at the historic events and pieces of literature that helped create the clichés […]

Etymology of the Cosmos

The cosmos that surrounds our planet is a vast playground of knowledge – for astronomers, for physicists, for theologians, and even for experienced linguists.  Below you will find the word origins of some of the most mesmerizing celestial bodies found in outer space. Cosmos: In usage since ancient times, this word of Greek origin originally […]

Etymology of Ten U.S. Cities

Read on to find out the fascinating and unexpected etymologies of ten of our country’s largest cities. Albuquerque: Named for its founder, Francisco Fernandez de la Cueva, Duke of Albuquerque, the original word is derived from the Latin albus, meaning “white”, and quercus, meaning “oak.” Atlanta:          Having undergone numerous name-changes – from Terminus to Thrasherville […]

Etymology of Clothing (From Shoes to Coats)

Not only does every September bring with it New York Fashion Week, but the month often marks a transition in the way we dress. As the season changes and we tuck away our summer clothes in favor of fall wear, we thought it would be a great time to turn our etymological inquiries to the […]

Low-Hanging Buzzwords: The Etymology of 3 Corporate Favorites

Is your company pushing the envelope to create disruptive innovations outside the box? Have you considered how scalable your department’s synergy really is? Can your sales reps proactively leverage their resources to snatch up the lowest-hanging fruit? And is that a win-win situation for all? Whether corporate buzzwords are a well-loved part of your daily […]

The Etymology of Popular Sports

Many of the sports we play and watch today have fascinating etymological histories. Below you will find some of the freaky, funny, intuitive, and counterintuitive roots in the world of sport. The word “sport” itself has been around in the English language since the mid-15th century, when it was derived from the Old French desporter, […]

Etymology of Common Legal Terms

Legalese – the bone-dry and tortuous language of the law – can be as mystifying as it is ubiquitous. To help our readers parse some of the more common and curious legal terms, below are their Latin roots. a posteriori: A phrase used to describe an argument derived from experience, it means “from later.” a […]

The Etymology of Philosopher

Simon Critchley wrote an interesting commentary for the New York Times on Sunday, May 16, 2010, titled What is a Philosopher? He opens the article by stating the obvious—“There are as many definitions of philosophy as there are philosophers – perhaps there are even more”—and then follows a round-about, but highly informative history of Greek […]

Naming Cars: The Etymology of Automobiles

On March 21, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta will begin a three month exhibition about car design in the context of various art movements throughout the last century. The Allure of the Automobile will feature some of the rarest cars from the 1930s to the mid-1960s. In reference to the upcoming exhibit, we […]

The Etymology of Advent

Yesterday, November 29, 2009, marked the beginning of Advent, the first day in the year of liturgical Western Christian churches. Falling on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, the holiday was celebrated around the world in churches by the lighting of candles, the recitation of certain Biblical verses pertaining to the birth of Christ, the liturgical […]

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