English Etymology, As Adapted To Popular Use: Its Leading Facts And Principles -- By: Benjamin W. Dwight

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 019:76 (Oct 1862)
Article: English Etymology, As Adapted To Popular Use: Its Leading Facts And Principles
Author: Benjamin W. Dwight

English Etymology, As Adapted To Popular Use: Its Leading
Facts And Principles

Benjamin W. Dwight

(Continued from page 309.)

Many have begun to hear with admiration of the wonders of the new philology, and perhaps themselves “see men, as trees, walking” within its sphere of grand and ever-enlarging discovery. Fain would they see more facts as facts, and these both more definitely and widely than they now do. Words they want in large numbers; and if they can have them in a thorough, reliable form, will greet so welcome a contribution with gladness. It has been a great gratification to the author, in the midst of other abounding labors, to undertake to meet, in even the partial manner here employed, so natural and urgent a desire on the part of those scholarly minds that highly appreciate the vast

inward wealth of words themselves, and yet have not the time or materials for any satisfactory explorations of their own among their riches. The list here furnished is designed only to be a specimen list, which might be almost indefinitely multiplied.1 The purpose has been, to give to the reader as wide and full and varied a view of the lingual riches of our noble mother tongue as could be compassed within the contracted bounds of a single brief Article. In the more than fifteen hundred words here explained, there will be found, by any inquisitive student, to be much material for both investigation and speculation. Curious, indeed, will the affiliations of words be often found to be, and odd their multiform combinations, alike of form and sense. Nothing but the most rigid logic of facts, and the force of manifest verities, could satisfy one who loves truth indescribably more than any novelties however imposing, that the existing relations and correlations of words in each single language, as well as in many combined, are really, in ever-changing forms and aspects, what they actually are. Behold, then, a few words gathered together, among many others, in hours of studious research, for the purpose of finding and enjoying the light that words bear in themselves, and of comprehending them in the inwardly constituted harmony of their mutual relations.


1. Absurdus, Eng. absurd, commonly guessed to represent ab, from, and surdus, a deaf person (whose voice, being unregulated by the ear, is abnormal in its action), is probably from the same root as Sk. svri and svar, to sound, and svaras, sound (cf. Lith. surme, a flute), and, like absonus, means dissonant. From the same root is Gr. σῦριγξ, a pipe, a musical reed, Eng. syringe. Cf. for ...

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