The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Tragedy’

 

By Dr Oliver Tearle

The origin of the word ‘tragedy’ involves wine, singing, and goats. More predictably, it involves the origins of theatre itself, back in ancient Greece. But in order to understand the etymology (or, at least, the commonly accepted etymology) of the word ‘tragedy’, we need to go back over two thousand years and take a closer look at those singing goats. Continue reading “The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Tragedy’”

The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Slithy’

 

By Dr Oliver Tearle

Anyone who loves nonsense literature can surely tell us the origins of the rather wonderful word ‘slithy’. But let’s make it a little more interesting and turn it into a multiple-choice quiz question. Who gave us the word ‘slithy’?

a) A man named Shakespeare
b) A man named Whately
c) A man named Lear
d) A man named Carroll Continue reading “The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Slithy’”

The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Woman’

 

By Dr Oliver Tearle

The question ‘what is a woman?’ has been widely discussed and debated in recent times, given the ongoing arguments – which have entered mainstream politics – surrounding gender and self-identification. But the question of where the word woman comes from is also of interest, since, as is so often the case with everyday words whose etymologies we take for granted, the origins of the term ‘woman’ contains several surprising details. Continue reading “The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Woman’”