Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More



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March 9, 2011

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Latest Comments


  • May 11, 2011, 11:29pm

Like the sound of that jayles, though it's beyond words why the world's foremost tongue lacks some kind of etymological rootfinder program giving the stock of highlighted words. Would be also a good little sideworking (feature) of kindles both digitally and whilst skimming books. That it has not been done by now, shows how tinpot the ruling Academicia and the likes OED, Websters, etc are. Maybe a sideworking like this somehow rocks the boat for them (?)


  • May 6, 2011, 1:52am

Furthermore what about 'sprog' in 'army sprog' -- 'here sprog' ?


  • May 6, 2011, 1:45am

"Instead of:

Duke---> English could use Herzog (Old English Heretoga 'army leader'. Cf. Old Frisian hertoga leader of an army, duke; Old Saxon heritogo, Old High German herizoho, herizogo, Old Norse hertogi)

Count---> Earl/Jarl

And so forth"


Herzog/Heretoga/Hertugi = 'Hertug' in Danish, so maybe 'Here(s)tug' in nowadays English.

(Here)ford, tug, 'tugger' 'tug of war' 'tug of here' 'war tug' 'war cog' 'heretug' 'herestug' (?)

'drag queen' drag king' ''drag here' 'heredrag' 'Hardraw Force/Foss, Yorkshire' (?)

'kill tug' i.e 'killing machine' (?) etymology of name 'kellogg' rather than 'kill hog' (?)


guessing German 'Herr' is from Herzog

how about 'tugger' making a good shortened name for 'heretug'


  • May 1, 2011, 6:57am

A whole writeup of someone thoughts on the etymology of Turbot...


  • April 29, 2011, 4:54pm

that should be...

*Turbot - either Scand. or from L. turbo by way of O.Fr.*


  • April 29, 2011, 4:42pm

Drawn to a wonderful wall poster of UK sea fish in a chip shop the other day. Poster had all the kinds of fish bearing both their English names and other translations underneath. I was rushing (so might of missed some) but remember:


Clocked most (if not all) of the English names when lacking a cognate with either the Dutch or German would instead match the Scandinavian ones. Clocked that a fair few fish bore sundry namesakes in English - should be some good English replacements for the likes of /sole/ and /plaice/ etc amongst the regional sundriness of names for fish in the UK. Most keening, was lots of the German translations for the fish ended in '-butt' Got me thinking about the '-but' in 'Halibut' seems that '-but' in English meant any kind of 'flatfish' back then, and still dose in German. Unlike the English, the Germans have (when ever needed) gone out their way to keep their language ordered and German. All flatfish in German seem to have a '-butt' ending. Indeed it would be better if all the names of flatfish in English followed 'Halibut' and ended in the '-but' ending too. Can't hurt to make use of an ending that hints at the ilk of fish. Halibut is already an everyday name, if all the flatfish names followed the O.E. '-but' ending wouldn't it be more scientific and ordered? Anyway, should be loads of other names knocking about to replace: Sole, Plaice, Dab, Turbot(?) Even the Keltic and Norse ones in all likelihood have English namesakes out there. Why not something like: Halibut, Flukebut (Fluke), Flounderbut (Flounder), Brillthbut (Brill), Scaldbut (Scaldfish), Knotbut (Topknot) Might sound dodgy at first, but a lot of fish have more than one name, and Halibut is a household name unlike the others, so sticking on '-but' shouldn't rock the boat that much and should be welcomed by science, fisheries and food sellers. Any replacement for Plaice, Sole and Dab should at least bear a '-but' ending.

Halibut - /large flatfish, early 15c., perhaps from hali "holy" (see holy) + butte "flatfish;" supposedly so called from its being eaten on holy days (cf. cognate Du. heilbot, Low Ger. heilbutt, Swed. helgeflundra, Dan. helleflynder). The second element is a general Germanic name applied to various kinds of flat fishes; cf. O.Swed. but "flatfish," M.E. butt (c.1300), perhaps ultimately from PIE *bhauh- "to strike/

Turbot - either Scand. by way of O.Fr. or from L. turbo

Flounder - either a misshaping of O.F /founder/ or Du. /flodderen/ 'to flop about'

Plaice - /from O.Fr. plaise, from L.L. platessa, perhaps related to Gk. platys “broad,” or from the root of plat- “flat.”/

Sole - /'flatfish' from O.Fr. sole, from L. solea "a kind of flatfish,"/

Fluke - /'flatfish' O.E. floc "flatfish," related to O.N. floke "flatfish," flak "disk, floe" (see flake). The parasite worm (1660s) so called from resemblance of shape/

Dab - /etymology of the name dab is unclear, but the modern English use seems to originate from the Middle English dabbe.[3] It is first recorded in the late 16th century/[

Brill - (believed from Cornish: /brythel/ note Welsh: /brith/)

Topknot - never heard of it before. Name itself seems a bit on the newen side to my earholes.

Scaldfish - name believed to be from looking like it has been dipped in scalding water

Witch - (also Whiff, Megrim) ?


  • April 22, 2011, 7:35am

I have always liked the -kin suffix. They have always been inbounds. I understand them better now.

Not so much -y (as in bothy, but along with -ling, -ock is another dim. ending I like. Always wondered how to Anglish 'Kitchenette' - 'kitchenkin' seems to work better than 'kitchenock' or 'kitch' (think titch) - indeed maybe 'titch' could be worked as a dim. suffix too: 'a titchmarsh' 'a titchwain' 'a cottitch'!

Look here: The Diary Of C. Jeames De La Pluche With His Letters
By William Makepeace Thackeray _ the word 'cottitch' is used instead of 'cottage' Seems 'cottage' may been English from head to toe: 'cot+titch' cot(tage) = cot(titch)

I know (cott)age and (ham)let are Ger origin but still like better something like 'cottock' for 'small village' or 'cottage'

-ock dim. ending looks like it works best on words twinned with 'll' and 'tt' - maybe 'ilock' for (islet/isle/small island) and 'billock for (small headland)


  • April 21, 2011, 3:50pm

That's what I think too Ængelfolc but look...!

-kin diminutive suffix, first attested mid-13c. in proper names adopted from Flanders and Holland, probably from M.Du. -kin, properly a double-diminutive, from -k + -in. Equivalent to Ger. -chen. Also borrowed in O.Fr. as -quin, where it usually has a bad sense.

This suffix, which is almost barren in French, has been more largely developed in the Picard patois, which uses it for new forms, such as verquin, a shabby little glass (verre); painequin, a bad little loaf (pain); Pierrequin poor little Pierre, &c. ["An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language," transl. G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878]


  • April 21, 2011, 5:50am

I have to build up some tolerance and stop bullying good English words. Four is back in the good book.

Instead of 'fir sapling' or even 'firling, 'firkin' could (if it wanted to) mean 'a young fir tree' The -kin dim. in names like Wilkinson, Atkinson, Hopkinson, Hodgkinson, Wilkins, is meant to have been gotten from England's nearest continental neighbours the Flemish, so what nowadays English words bare the -kin suffix from old English like 'kilderkin' rather than Dutch. Whatever happened to English's own -kins?


  • April 20, 2011, 8:05pm

Ængelfolc: Compare "farthing" (feorða(n)-peninga > feorðling, feorðung > farthing, meaning "feorða (fourth) 'of a' peninga (penny)").

So 'farthing' means 'fourth' of a penny, 'firkin' seems to have something to do with 'fourth' too.

Somehow I don't mind 'fourth' but not that keen on the spelling of 'four' wish it was something stronger looking like 'fow' I must have something against any false-cognates with French.