16 Interesting Word Origins That Explain Why English Is A Funny Language

Anglo Saxons (believed to be the first speakers of Old English) invented a language which has words whose origins will make you read about them twice.

Check this interesting and funny English word origins and share your favourite with us in comments.

1. Nice

In latin this words means “ignorant”

2. Girl

Word “girls” comes from ow German word ‘gor’ whose early usage for kids of both sexes.

3. Whiskey

Whiskey comes from the Gaelic words ‘uisge bietha’ or ‘ water of life’.

4. Sycophant

In ancient Greek sycophant meant ‘fig revealer’

5. Smart Aleck

Aleck was an actual pimp who looted people in New York in the 1840’s.

6. Sarcasm

Sarcasm comes from the Greek word ‘sarkazein’ which means ‘to tear flesh’

7. Pamphlet

Pamphlet comes from the love poem ‘pamphilus’ which was passed on from person to person.

8. Muscle

In old Latin muscle meant small mice.

9. Mortgage

In old French mortgage meant ‘death pledge’

10. Lukewarm

In Middle English ‘luke’ means warm. The actual translation would then be ‘warm warm’.

11. Loophole 

A 16th century English word for small slits in castles to shoot arrows.

12. Lemur

Originates from Latin and means ‘spirits of the dead’.

13. Hazard

Hazard comes from Arabic word ‘al zahr’ which means dice, and dice was associated with games to do with gambling.

14. Disaster 

Disaster comes from Greek words ‘dis’ and ‘aster’ indicating the unfavourable movement of the stars.

15. Berserks

An old Norse words where Beserkers were warriors who fought with a trance like fury.

16. Avocado 

In the Nahuatl language it’s called ‘Ahuacati’ meaning ‘testicle’. Yeah you read it right. Word avocado comes from testicle 🙂

 

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