The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Sinister’

 

By Dr Oliver Tearle

What does the word ‘sinister’ have to do with being left-handed? And what was the meaning of the word ‘ambidextrous’ when it was first coined? And what do these two questions have to do with each other? Let’s take a closer look at the interesting origins of the word ‘sinister’. Continue reading “The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Sinister’”

The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Homosexual’

 

By Dr Oliver Tearle

Where did the word ‘homosexual’ originate? It’s a surprisingly recent coinage, and dates from the second half of the nineteenth century, with a Victorian poet and critic being the first person to use the word in English. Let’s take a closer look at the etymology of ‘homosexual’, and learn what the word has in common with ‘television’, ‘petroleum’, and ‘automobile’. Continue reading “The Curious Origin of the Word ‘Homosexual’”

The Curious Origin of the Words ‘Friend’ and ‘Friendship’

 

By Dr Oliver Tearle

The origin of the word ‘friend’ – and the noun ‘friendship’ which is formed from it – lies in the mists of time, although the first recorded use of ‘friend’ is in one of the classic works of English literature. Let’s take a closer look at the etymology and history of ‘friend’ and ‘friendship’. Continue reading “The Curious Origin of the Words ‘Friend’ and ‘Friendship’”