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Etymology Dictionaries and Resources

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Etymology Dictionaries and Resources (Online)

  • American Dialect Society - A scholarly association dedicated to the study of the English language in North America.
  • Behind the Name - The etymology and history of first names.
  • Etymologic - The brain-twisting etymology game.
  • Etymologically Speaking - A list of some curious word origins.
  • Etymology - Word origins and links.
  • Focusing on Words - An advanced Latin-Greek-English vocabulary source of etymologies with thematic units of roots, prefixes, and suffixes, and vocabulary quizzes.
  • Fun With Word Origins - Samples of the etymological books from word-lover Martha Barnette, author of "Ladyfingers & Nun's Tummies" and "A Garden of Words."
  • Nautical Expressions in the Vernacular - Myriad expressions in everyday English have nautical origins. This web page lists expressions and definitions mentioned by listswains, members of the Patrick O'Brian Mailing List, also known as the Gunroom.
  • New Words In English - Neologisms and novel uses of words in English collected by members of the class Linguistics/English 215, Words in English: Structure, History and Use, taught by Suzanne Kemmer at Rice University.
  • Magic of Words - Blog about words, phrases, names, and etymology.
  • Oxford English Dictionary - Presents a word a day, complete with pronunciation, spellings, etymology, and quotations.
  • Pandora's Word Box - Ideas in words, linking biology, medicine, and the humanities.
  • Pennsylvania Town Name Origins / Northeast - Name origins of northeast PA towns by Mike O'Hara slowly expanding to include all of Pennsylvania.
  • Roots of English - An etymological dictionary you can download by Prof. Eugene Cotter, Seton Hall University.
  • Take Our Word for It - Weekly etymology magazine.
  • Dictionary of Last Names - A database on last names, providing information on etymology and history of surnames
  • What's The Meaning of This? - The origins of quirky English words and phrases like "In like Flynn" and "blackmail."
  • The Word Detective - Words and language in a humorous vein. The online version of The Word Detective, a newspaper column answering readers' questions about words and language. Written by Evan Morris.
  • A Word with You - A daily online column, featuring little known facts about well known words and phrases.
  • World Wide Words - More than 400 pages on the history, origins, evolution and idiosyncrasies of English. New words and words in the news regularly featured.

Etymology Dictionaries (Books)


The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

Kleins Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language

Chambers Dictionary of Etymology

An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language

The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots

Word Histories and Mysteries: From Abracadabra to Zeus

Word Mysteries and Histories: From Quiche to Humble Pie

Word Origins ... and How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone

The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories

The Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories (Oxford Paperback Reference)

Word Origins: An Exploration and History of Words and Language

Dictionary of Word Origins: A History of the Words, Expressions and Cliches We Use


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