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Glossary of Etymology Terms:


Acronym: creating a word from each letter of a phrase.

Backronym: creating a phrase from each letter of a word, many folk etymologies are backronyms.

Calque: an expression translated from another language, also, a new meaning for a word, taken from another language.

Eponym: a word or phrase coined after the name of a person.

Etymology: the branch of linguistics which deals with the evolution of words.

Folk etymology: a false etymology which is widely believed to be true. Also a change in the form of a word based on the assumption that the word is related to another word.

False friend: two words in different languages that are misleadingly similar in form, but have different meanings

Inflection: a suffix added to the end of a word to indicate certain grammatical aspects

Loanword: a word that is borrowed directly from another language without translation.

Prefix: a group of sounds added at the begginging of the stem of the word, such as -un in undecided.

Reconstruction: using comparative linguistics to reach hypothetical ancient forms for words in languages that were never written.

Substratum: a language which influences another one which eventually supplants it, such as Gaulish influencing the Latin spoken in France.

Suffix: a group of sounds added at the end of the stem of the word, such as -ness in happiness.

Toponym: the name of a geographical feature, a placename.





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