the curious origin of the word ‘imbecile’

The English adjective imbecile is, via French, from the Latin imbecillus, or imbecillis, meaning weak, feeble, in body or mind. In his etymological encyclopaedia Originum sive Etymologiarum (The Origins or Etymologies), the Spanish archbishop and Doctor of the Church St Isidore of Seville (circa 560-636) wrote that the literal meaning of the Latin adjective is quasi sine baculo, as though (walking) without a supporting staff. The […]

Read More

a linguistic investigation into ‘cheese and ‘fromage’

The word cheese is from Old English cēse, cȳse, of West-Germanic origin; it is related to its Dutch and German equivalents kaas and Käse respectively. Those words are ultimately derived from Latin caseus, cheese, which is also the origin of: – Spanish queso – Portuguese queijo – regional Italian cacio – Romanian: caș. Based on […]

Read More