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Folk etymology (also known as popular etymology, analogical reformation, reanalysis, morphological reanalysis or etymological reinterpretation) is a change in a word or phrase resulting from the replacement of an unfamiliar form by a more familiar one. The form or the meaning of an archaic, foreign, or otherwise unfamiliar word is reinterpreted as resembling more familiar words or
morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical itemIn lexicography, a lexical item (or lexical unit / LU, lexical entry) is a single word, a part of a word, or a chain of words ( catena) that forms the basic elements of a language's lexicon A ...
s. The term ''folk etymology'' is a
loan translation In linguistics, a calque () or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal translation, literal word-for-word or root-for-root translation. When used as a verb, "to calque" means to borrow a word or phrase from ...
from
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ger ...

German
''Volksetymologie'', coined by
Ernst Förstemann
Ernst Förstemann
in 1852. Folk etymology is a
productive Productivity is the efficiency Efficiency is the (often measurable) ability to avoid wasting materials, energy, efforts, money, and time in doing something or in producing a desired result. In a more general sense, it is the ability to do th ...
process in
historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including s ...
,
language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Ind ...
, and
social interaction In social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botan ...
. Reanalysis of a word's history or original form can affect its spelling, pronunciation, or meaning. This is frequently seen in relation to
loanword A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning ...
s or words that have become archaic or obsolete. Examples of words created or changed through folk etymology include the English dialectal form ''sparrowgrass'', originally from Greek ("
asparagus Asparagus, or garden asparagus, folk name sparrow grass, scientific name ''Asparagus officinalis'', is a perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom ...

asparagus
") remade by analogy to the more familiar words ''sparrow'' and ''grass'', or the derived word ''burger'', created by reanalyzing the word
hamburger A hamburger (or burger for short) is a , typically considered a , consisting of one or more cooked —usually , typically —placed inside a sliced or . The patty may be , , smoked or . Hamburgers are often served with , , , , , , or ; s such ...

hamburger
as ''ham'' + ''burger'', even though the true original etymology consists of ''
Hamburg en, Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central (CET) , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = Central (CEST) , utc_offset1_DST = +2 , postal_code_type = Post ...

Hamburg
'' (name of city)+ ''-er'' ("a person from").


Productive force

The technical term "folk etymology" refers to a change in the form of a word caused by erroneous popular suppositions about its
etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identi ...
. Until academic linguists developed comparative philology (now "
comparative linguistics Comparative linguistics, or comparative-historical linguistics (formerly comparative philology) is a branch of historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change ...
") and described the laws underlying
sound changes A sound change, in historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured syste ...
, the derivation of a word was mostly guess-work. Speculation about the original form of words in turn feeds back into the development of the word and thus becomes a part of a new etymology. Believing a word to have a certain origin, people begin to pronounce, spell, or otherwise use the word in a manner appropriate to that perceived origin. This popular etymologizing has had a powerful influence on the forms which words take. Examples in English include ''
crayfish Crayfish are freshwater crustacean Crustaceans (Crustacea ) form a large, diverse arthropod taxon which includes such animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, Caridea, shrimp, krill, Dendrobranchiata, prawns, woodlice, barnacles, copepods, ...

crayfish
'' or ''crawfish'', which are not historically related to ''fish'' but come from
Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured sys ...
''crevis'',
cognate In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Itali ...
with French ''écrevisse''. Likewise ''chaise lounge'', from the original French ''chaise longue'' ("long chair"), has come to be associated with the word ''lounge''.


Related phenomena

Other types of language change caused by reanalysis of the structure of a word include
rebracketing Rebracketing (also known as resegmentation or metanalysis) is a process in historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change Language change is variation over t ...
and
back-formation In etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to ...
. In rebracketing, users of the language change misinterpret or reinterpret the location of a boundary between words or
morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical itemIn lexicography, a lexical item (or lexical unit / LU, lexical entry) is a single word, a part of a word, or a chain of words ( catena) that forms the basic elements of a language's lexicon A ...
s. For example, the
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular o ...
word ''orenge'' ("orange tree") comes from
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
''an nāranj'' ("the orange tree"), with the initial ''n'' of ''nāranj'' understood as part of the
article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identifiability of the referents of the noun phrases. The category of articles constitutes a part ...
. Rebracketing in the opposite direction saw the Middle English ''a napron'' become ''an apron''. In back-formation, a new word is created by removing elements from an existing word that are interpreted as
affix In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the met ...
es. For example,
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the people of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps ...

Italian
''pronuncia'' ('pronunciation; accent') is derived from the verb ''pronunciare'' ('to pronounce; to utter') and English ''edit'' derives from ''editor''. Some cases of back-formation are based on folk etymology.


Examples in English

In linguistic change caused by folk etymology, the form of a word changes so that it better matches its popular rationalisation. Typically this happens either to unanalysable foreign words or to compounds where the word underlying one part of the compound becomes obsolete.


Loanwords

There are many examples of words borrowed from foreign languages, and subsequently changed by folk etymology. The spelling of many borrowed words reflects folk etymology. For example, ''
andiron An andiron or firedog, fire-dog or fire dog is a bracket support, normally found in pairs, on which logs are laid for burning in an open fireplace A fireplace or hearth A hearth is the place in a where a is or was traditionally ke ...
'' borrowed from Old French was variously spelled ''aundyre'' or ''aundiren'' in Middle English, but was altered by association with ''iron''. Other Old French loans altered in a similar manner include ''
belfryBelfry may refer to: In architecture * Belfry (architecture), a structure enclosing bells * Bell tower ** Bell tower (wat), a Thai architectural structure * Belfry, a type of medieval siege tower * Belfries of Belgium and France, a UNESCO World He ...
'' (from ''berfrey'') by association with ''bell'', ''female'' (from ''femelle'') by ''male'', and ''penthouse'' (from ''apentis'') by ''house''. The variant spelling of ''licorice'' as ''
liquorice Liquorice ( UK) or licorice ( US) ( ; also ) is the common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in dow ...
'' comes from the supposition that it has something to do with liquid. Anglo-Norman ''licoris'' (influenced by ''licor'' "liquor") and
Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, kn ...
''liquirītia'' were respelled for similar reasons, though the ultimate origin of all three is Greek ' (glycyrrhiza) "sweet root". Reanalysis of loan words can affect their spelling, pronunciation, or meaning. The word ''cockroach'', for example, was borrowed from Spanish ''cucaracha'' but was assimilated to the existing English words ''cock'' and '' roach''. The phrase ''
forlorn hope A forlorn hope is a band of soldiers or other combatants chosen to take the vanguard The vanguard (also called the advance guard) is the leading part of an advancing military formation Military organization or military organisation is the ...

forlorn hope
'' originally meant "storming party, body of skirmishers"Brown, Lesley (ed.). 2002. ''Shorter Oxford English Dictionary'', vol. 1, A–M. 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 1600. from Dutch ''verloren hoop'' "lost troop". But confusion with English ''hope'' has given the term an additional meaning of "hopeless venture". Sometimes imaginative stories are created to account for the link between a borrowed word and its popularly assumed sources. The names of the ''
serviceberry ''Amelanchier'' ( ), also known as shadbush, shadwood or shadblow, serviceberry or sarvisberry (or just sarvis), juneberry, saskatoon, sugarplum, wild-plum or chuckley pear,A Digital Flora of Newfoundland and Labrador Vascular Plants/ref> is a g ...
'', ''service tree'', and related plants, for instance, come from the Latin name ''
sorbus ''Sorbus'' is a genus of over 100 species of trees and shrubs in the rose family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group ...
''. The plants were called ''syrfe'' in Old English, which eventually became ''service''. Fanciful stories suggest that the name comes from the fact that the trees bloom in spring, a time when circuit-riding preachers resume church services or when funeral services are carried out for people who died during the winter. A seemingly plausible but no less speculative etymology accounts for the form of ''
Welsh rarebit Welsh rarebit or Welsh rabbit ( or ) is a British Cuisine, British dish consisting of a hot Cheese sauce, cheese-based sauce served over slices of Toast (food), toasted bread. The original 18th-century name of the dish was the jocular "Welsh ra ...
'', a dish made of cheese and toasted bread. The earliest known reference to the dish in 1725 called it ''Welsh rabbit''. The origin of that name is unknown, but presumably humorous, since the dish contains no rabbit. In 1785
Francis Grose Francis Grose (b. before 11 June 1731 – 12 June 1791) was an England, English antiquary, drawing, draughtsman, and lexicographer. He was born at his father's house in Broad Street, St Peter le Poer, St-Peter-le-Poer, London. His parents were ...

Francis Grose
suggested in ''A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue'' that the dish is "a Welch rare bit", though the word ''rarebit'' was not common prior to Grose's dictionary. Both versions of the name are in current use; individuals sometimes express strong opinions concerning which version is correct.


Obsolete forms

When a word or other form becomes obsolete, words or phrases containing the obsolete portion may be reanalyzed and changed. Some
compound word In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the met ...
s from
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
were reanalyzed in Middle or Modern English when one of the constituent words fell out of use. Examples include ''
bridegroom A bridegroom (often shortened to groom) is a man who is about to be married in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights ...
'' from Old English '' brydguma'' "bride-man". The word '' gome'' "man" from Old English '' guma'' fell out of use during the sixteenth century and the compound was eventually reanalyzed with the Modern English word ''
groom A bridegroom (often shortened to groom) is a man who is about to be married in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights ...
'' "male servant". A similar reanalysis caused '' sandblind'', from Old English ''sāmblind'' "half-blind" with a once-common prefix ''sām-'' "semi-", to be respelled as though it is related to ''sand''. The word ''island'' derives from Old English ''igland''. The modern spelling with the letter ''s'' is the result of comparison with the synonym '' isle'' from Old French and ultimately as a
Latinist Classical Latin is the form of Latin, Latin language recognized as a Literary language, literary standard language, standard by writers of the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire. It was used from 75 BC to the 3rd century AD, when it dev ...
borrowing of ''insula'', though the Old French and Old English words are not historically related. In a similar way, the spelling of '' wormwood'' was likely affected by comparison with ''wood''. The phrase '' curry favour'', meaning to flatter, comes from Middle English ''curry favel'', "
groom A bridegroom (often shortened to groom) is a man who is about to be married in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights ...

groom
a ". This was an
allusion Allusion is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persu ...
to a fourteenth-century French morality poem, ''
Roman de Fauvel The ''Roman de Fauvel'' is a 14th-century French language, French allegory, allegorical Poetry, verse Romance (poetry), romance of satirical bent, generally attributed to , a clerk at the French royal Chancery (medieval office), chancery. The orig ...

Roman de Fauvel
'', about a chestnut-colored horse who corrupts men through duplicity. The phrase was reanalyzed in early Modern English by comparison to ''favour'' as early as 1510. Words need not completely disappear before their compounds are reanalyzed. The word '' shamefaced'' was originally '' shamefast''. The original meaning of ''fast'' 'fixed in place' still exists, as in the compounded words ''steadfast'' and ''colorfast'', but by itself mainly in frozen expressions such as ''stuck fast'', ''hold fast'', and '' play fast and loose''. The songbird ''
wheatear The wheatears are passerine birds of the genus ''Oenanthe''. They were formerly considered to be members of the Thrush (bird), thrush family, Turdidae, but are now more commonly placed in the Old World flycatcher, flycatcher family, Muscicapid ...

wheatear
'' or ''white-ear'' is a back-formation from Middle English ''whit-ers'' 'white arse', referring to the prominent white rump found in most species. Although both ''white'' and ''arse'' are common in Modern English, the folk etymology may be
euphemism A euphemism () is an innocuous word or expression used in place of one that is deemed Profanity, offensive or suggests something unpleasant. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse, while others use bland, inoffensive terms for concepts that the us ...
. Reanalysis of archaic or obsolete forms can lead to changes in meaning as well. The original meaning of ''
hangnail A hangnail is a tiny, torn piece of skin, more specifically eponychium or paronychium, next to a fingernail or toenail. Hangnails are typically caused by having dry skin, or by trauma to the fingers, such as Paper cut, paper cuts or nail biting. ...

hangnail
'' referred to a
corn Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American English, North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples of the Americas, indige ...
on the foot. The word comes from Old English '' ang-'' + '' nægel'' ("anguished nail" or "compressed spike"), but the spelling and pronunciation were affected by folk etymology in the seventeenth century or earlier. Thereafter, the word came to be used for a tag of skin or torn
cuticle A cuticle (), or cuticula, is any of a variety of tough but flexible, non-mineral outer coverings of an organism, or parts of an organism, that provide protection. Various types of "cuticle" are non- homologous, differing in their origin, structu ...
near a
fingernail A nail is a claw-like plate at the tip of the fingers and toes in most primates. Nails correspond to claws found in other animals. Fingernails and toenails are made of a tough protective protein called alpha-keratin, which is a polymer. Alpha-ker ...
or toenail.


Other languages

Several words in
Medieval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share ...
were subject to folk etymology. For example, the word ''widerdonum'' meaning 'reward' was borrowed from
Old High German Old High German (OHG, german: Althochdeutsch, German abbr. ) is the earliest stage of the German language German ( Standard High German: , ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Euro ...
''widarlōn'' "repayment of a loan". The ''l→d'' alteration is due to confusion with Latin ''donum'' 'gift'. Similarly, the word ''baceler'' or ''bacheler'' (related to modern English ''bachelor'') referred to a junior knight. It is attested from the eleventh century, though its ultimate origin is uncertain. By the late Middle Ages its meaning was extended to the holder of a university degree inferior to master or doctor. This was later re-spelled ''baccalaureus'', probably reflecting a false derivation from ''bacca laurea'' 'laurel berry', alluding to the possible laurel crown of a poet or conqueror. In the fourteenth or fifteenth century, French scholars began to spell the verb ''savoir'' ('to know') as ''sçavoir'' on the false belief it was derived from Latin ''scire'' 'to know'. In fact it comes from ''sapere'' 'to be wise'. The Italian word ''liocorno, ''meaning 'unicorn' derives from 13th-century ''lunicorno'' (''lo'' 'the' + ''unicorno'' 'unicorn'). Folk etymology based on ''lione'' 'lion' altered the spelling and pronunciation. Dialectal ''liofante'' 'elephant' was likewise altered from ''elefante'' by association with ''lione''. The
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
word for '
hammock A hammock (from Spanish , borrowed from Taíno The Taíno were an indigenous people of the Caribbean. At the time of European contact in the late fifteenth century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of Cuba Cuba ( , ), off ...

hammock
' is ''hangmat''. It was borrowed from Spanish ''hamaca'' (ultimately from
Arawak The Arawak are a group of indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), o ...
''amàca'') and altered by comparison with ''hangen'' and ''mat'', 'hanging mat'. German ''Hängematte'' shares this folk etymology. '' Islambol'', a folk etymology meaning 'Islam abounding', is one of the names of
Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code A postal code (also known locally in various English-speaking countries throughout the world as a postcode, post code, PIN or ZIP Code) is a series of letters or digits or both, sometimes ...

Istanbul
used after the
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
conquest of 1453. An example from
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Irania ...
is the word ''
shatranj ''Shatranj'' ( ar, شطرنج; fa, شترنج; from Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became th ...

shatranj
'' 'chess', which is derived from the
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
("four-army
ame American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is the mo ...

ame
; 2nd century BCE), and after losing the ''u'' to
syncope Syncope may refer to: * Syncope (medicine), also known as fainting * Syncope (phonology), the loss of one or more sounds, particularly an unstressed vowel, from the interior of a word * Syncopation, a musical effect caused by off-beat or otherwise ...
, became ''chatrang'' in
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
(6th century CE). Today it is sometimes factorized as ''sad'' 'hundred' + ''ranj'' 'worry, mood', or 'a hundred worries'. In Turkey, the political
Democratic Party Democratic Party most often refers to: *Democratic Party (United States) Democratic Party and similar terms may also refer to: Active parties Africa *Botswana Democratic Party *Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea *Gabonese Democratic Party *Demo ...
changed its logo in 2007 to a white horse in front of a red background because many voters folk-etymologized its Turkish name ''Demokrat'' as ''demir kırat'' ("iron white-horse").


See also

*
Backronym A backronym, or bacronym, is an acronym An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical m ...
*
Chinese word for "crisis" The Chinese word for "crisis" () is, in Western popular culture, frequently but incorrectly said to be written with two Chinese characters signifying "danger" (, ) and "opportunity" (, ). The second character is a component of the Chinese word ...
*
Eggcorn In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic br ...
*
Etymological fallacy An etymological fallacy is committed when an argument makes a claim about the present meaning of a word based exclusively on that word's etymology. It is a genetic fallacyThe genetic fallacy (also known as the fallacy of origins or fallacy of virt ...
*
Expressive loan Phono-semantic matching (PSM) is the incorporation of a word into one language from another, often creating a neologism, where the word's non-native quality is hidden by replacing it with Phonetics, phonetically and semantically similar words or ...
*
False etymology A false etymology (fake etymology, popular etymology, etymythology, pseudo-etymology, or par(a)etymology) is a popular but false belief about the origin or derivation of a specific word. It is sometimes called a folk etymology Folk etymology (al ...
*
False friend In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Ita ...
*
Folk linguistics Folk linguistics consists of statements, beliefs, or practices concerning language which are based on uninformed speculation rather than the scientific method. Folk linguistics sometimes arises when scientific conclusions about language come off a ...
*
Hobson-Jobson ''Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, and of Kindred Terms, Etymological, Historical, Geographical and Discursive'' is a historical dictionary of Anglo-Indian The term Anglo-Indian can refer to at least ...
*
Hypercorrection In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measu ...
*
Hyperforeignism A hyperforeignism is a type of qualitative hypercorrection that involves speakers misidentifying the distribution of a pattern found in loanwords and extending it to other environments, including words and phrases not borrowed from the language th ...
*
Johannes Goropius Becanus Johannes Goropius Becanus (23 June 1519 – 28 June 1573), born Jan Gerartsen, was a Netherlands, Dutch physician, linguist, and humanism, humanist. Life He was born Jan Gerartsen van Gorp in the hamlet of Gorp, Netherlands, Gorp, in the munici ...

Johannes Goropius Becanus
*
Nirukta ''Nirukta'' ( sa, निरुक्त, , "explained, interpreted") is one of the six ancient Vedangas, or ancillary science connected with the Vedas – the scriptures of Hinduism.James Lochtefeld (2002), "Nirukta" in The Illustrated Encycloped ...
*
Okay ''OK'' (spelling variations include ''okay'', ''O.K.'', ''ok'' and ''Ok'') is an English word (originally American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the ...

Okay
*
Phono-semantic matching Phono-semantic matching (PSM) is the incorporation of a word into one language from another, often creating a neologism, where the word's non-native quality is hidden by replacing it with Phonetics, phonetically and semantically similar words or r ...
*
Pseudoscientific language comparison Pseudoscientific language comparison is a form of pseudo-scholarship Pseudo-scholarship (from pseudo- and Scholarly method, scholarship) is a term used to describe work (e.g., publication, lecture) or body of work that is presented as, but is not, ...
*
Semantic change Semantic change (also semantic shift, semantic progression, semantic development, or semantic drift) is a form of language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communication u ...
*
Slang dictionary A slang dictionary is a reference book A reference work is a work, such as a book or periodical literature, periodical (or electronic publishing, their electronic equivalents), to which one can refer for information. The information is inte ...
* Wiktionary list of back-formations * Wiktionary list of rebracketings


References


Further reading

* * Anatoly Liberman (2005). ''Word Origins ... and How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone''. Oxford University Press. . * Adrian Room (1986). ''Dictionary of True Etymologies''. Routledge & Kegan Paul. . * David Wilton (2004). ''Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends''. Oxford University Press. . {{DEFAULTSORT:False Etymology Etymology Comparative linguistics Linguistics Folklore Linguistic error Semantic relations