The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Plagiarism’

 

By Dr Oliver Tearle

Some words have curious, and revealing, etymologies. The origins of the word ‘plagiarism’ are certainly revealing. The meaning of the word is fairly well-known: ‘plagiarism’ means stealing another person’s work, especially their writing, and passing it off as your own. To plagiarise is to seek to get the credit for something you didn’t produce yourself. Continue reading “The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Plagiarism’”

The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Leviathan’

 

By Dr Oliver Tearle

Where does the word ‘leviathan’ come from, and what animal does it refer to? The origins of the word are to be found in the Old Testament, but we need to take a closer look at the Bible to uncover the true meaning of the word, and to discover why the seventeenth-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes took the word and used it as the title for his 1651 book Leviathan. Continue reading “The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Leviathan’”

The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Scapegoat’

 

By Dr Oliver Tearle

The term ‘scapegoat’ is well-known: it refers to an innocent person who has to carry the blame for something on behalf of other people. As the Oxford English Dictionary defines the word: the ‘scapegoat’ is ‘one of two goats that was chosen by lot to be sent alive into the wilderness, the sins of the people having been symbolically laid upon it, while the other was appointed to be sacrificed.’ Continue reading “The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Scapegoat’”