Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #etymology

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The wise, one alone, unwilling and willing to be spoken of only by the name of #Zeus, the name of Life.

- #Heraclitus 113

[Kahn 1979, pp. 267-271]
“With deliberate antimony #Heraclitus here presents his positive conception of the divine ... The #aphorism is unusually dense and puzzling, full of conflicting forces mysteriously under control.”

- Kahn, ‘Art and Thought of #Heraclitus,’ 1979, pp. 267
“... for #Heraclitus as for Aeschylus ‘#etymology’ must be taken literally: an ‘etymos #logos’ is a ‘true statement’ hidden in the form of a name ... the name ‘Zēnos’ affirms that the supreme #deity is also a principle of life, like the ‘everliving fire’ ...”

- Kahn 1979 p. 270
Read 13 tweets
The #Hebrew word for "independence" comes from a root for "strength," by way of the word "bone."
Let me explain. ʕṢM is the root of "strength, power, superpower, enormous," and also Etsem, "bone." I guess that meaning 1/2
#language #etymology #YomHaatzmaut
#IndependenceDay
comes from the strength of bones.
This word also developed the meaning of "essence, self," bc bones are the essense of the body (as in, "in my bones", be'Atsmi = "myself"). Then came the word atsma'UT, "independence," i.e., reliance on oneself. 2/2
#Hebrew #language #etymology
(I wrote this in advance yesterday and now see @HebreWords has also tweeted about this today. Great tweet as well: )
Read 3 tweets
Ever wonder why 'go' becomes 'went'? It comes from an old past tense of 'wend', a Germanic word meaning 'turn' or 'proceed', which otherwise survives only in the fossilized phrase 'wend one's way'. 1/3 #etymology
In the 15C–16C, 'went' supplanted existing past-tense forms of 'go'. Texts of this time can have both, e.g. Wycliffe's Bible: 'Thei ȝeden out, and wenten in to the swyne.' The past tense of 'wend', meanwhile, became 'wended' 2/3
Wend–went was in a cluster of verbs with the same pattern: bend–bent, lend–lent, rend–rent, send–sent… Even when English looks irregular, it's often being locally regular – like the emergence of dive→dove by analogy with drive→drove & co. 3/3
Read 3 tweets
A leader in #Igbo land must be very careful. They recognise that the line between sanity & insanity is very thin. Once one starts chorusing ijọm instead of ijọ́m, s/he is on his or her own. Like the said madman casting nothing over the bridge shouting, "13,13, 13..." The bridge
having hung over a deep turbulent river, people gathered to wonder what 13th bawl it could've been. So, a more inquisitive one went closer to see. At once, the madman scooped, plunged him over and began to sing, "14, 14..."

The Igbos know fleeing away, isn't cowardice in any way
Onye Igbo maara na ọhịa a hụrụ ozu nza abụọ na ihe na-egbu nwa nza, nọ na ya.

Kama ihe ga-ata isi ya, ya kpuru okwu ya. #Igbo
He doesn't sit out with insanity. He doesn't take counsel of psychopaths. Once a sound mind, crosses over to the other side of reasoning, the rest
Read 11 tweets
5 Boron B, named after the mineral borax which the element was first extracted from using electrolysis by British Chemist Humphry Davy who called it boracium. The -on suffix came later by analogy with carbon. #EotE #etymology #Chemistry #Science #Language
6 Carbon C, named from Latin for coal: carbo. Late 18th Century French scientists demonstrated graphite, charcoal & diamond made of same element naming it carbone, 1st listed by Antoine Lavoisier in famous 1789 chemistry textbook. #EotE #etymology #Chemistry #Science #Language
7 Nitrogen N, confusion in 16th C led to natron (sodium carbonate) & saltpeter (potassium nitrate) both being named nitre in French. French chemist Jean-Antoine Chaptal named the new gas nitrogene, -gène, producing from Greek -γενής #EotE #etymology #Chemistry #Science #Language
Read 115 tweets
Etymology of the Elements #EotE. This thread will build to explain the name of each of the 118 chemical elements in the periodic table. #etymology #Chemistry #Science #Language

More in The Secret Life of the Periodic Table, 3rd edition out now! pprc.qmul.ac.uk/~still/wordpre…
1 Hydrogen, named from ancient Greek ὑδρο- hydro meaning "water" and -γενής genes meaning "creator" by French Chemist Antoine Lavoisier as it forms water when burnt in air 2H₂+O₂→2H₂O #EotE #etymology #Chemistry #Science #Language
2 Helium, named from the Greek Titan of the Sun Helios (ἥλιος) as it was first seen by the unique yellow light in emits from the Sun by French astronomer Jules Janssen during a total solar eclipse 1868 #EotE #etymology #Chemistry #Science #Language
Read 6 tweets
NEXT UP: 10th seed common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) vs. 2nd seed green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) #2018MMM
The clever octopus reached Round 2 by suffocating and enveloping cookie cutter shark. #sneakattack #2018MMM
(Speaking of clever, check out this @MerriamWebster video if you want to impress all your friends by knowing the *multiple* correct plurals of 'octopus'!) #2018MMM #etymology
Read 16 tweets

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