Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

It has always been interesting for me to know how words are made and where they are coming from. Is there any reliable source for etymological studies? any books, or dictionaries out there?

share|improve this question
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Online Etymology Dictionary

The basic sources of this work are Weekley's "An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English," Klein's "A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language," "Oxford English Dictionary" (second edition), "Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology," Holthausen's "Etymologisches Wörterbuch der Englischen Sprache," and Kipfer and Chapman's "Dictionary of American Slang."

share|improve this answer
add comment

Wiktionary

Designed as the lexical companion to Wikipedia, the encyclopaedia project, Wiktionary has grown beyond a standard dictionary and now includes a thesaurus, a rhyme guide, phrase books, language statistics and extensive appendices. We aim to include not only the definition of a word, but also enough information to really understand it. Thus etymologies, pronunciations, sample quotations, synonyms, antonyms and translations are included.

share|improve this answer
    
Are there any books out there that teaches the etymology in a more systematic way? –  Manoochehr Sep 10 '11 at 6:14
    
Prone to folk etymologies, IMO. –  TimLymington Jan 6 '13 at 12:13
add comment

General purpose:

Newspapers:

  • USA: Chronicling America (1836-1922) by the Library of Congress
  • Australia: Trove (-1954) by the National Library of Australia

Particularly for computing terms:

share|improve this answer
add comment

The first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is online at archive.org:

A-BCD-EF-GHI-KLM-NO-PQ-R
S-ShSi-StSu-ThTi-UV-Z

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.