Etymythology postings

Etymythology / mythetymology postings

distinct from the reshapings in classical malapropisms and the like

a few links for postings on the Etymological Fallacy, but only a few

a few examples of acronymic etymythologies, but only a few

little discussion of solid etymologies that will strike most people as preposterous


4/4/09: Foamers and stories:
foamer ‘intense railfan’; narratophilia; “A good story is better than the truth”

12/22/10: Amateur etymology:
etymology of O.K.

4/18/11: Truth, memory, and stories:

2/20/12: The Chink files:

6/27/12: Bullshit etymology:

11/2/12: Sark:
comment by Julian Lander with playful etymology for Herm

12/5/12: sprouts:
acronymic derivation for sprout

2/20/13: Terminological precedence:
narratophilia; halls of ivy
Larry Horn: “A more positive spin is that humans love explanations, especially elegant ones – even incorrect or unsubstantiated elegant ones.”
Dennis Preston: “Narratophilia is particularly rife in place-name legends.”
Grant Barrett on “the use of creation myths in novels, screenplays, etc., as representations of “narratophilia.”
Cooter Brown, Miss Mamie Johnson
friend of Dorothy

4/28/13: digitalis / foxglove:

8/18/13: Odds and ends 8/18/13:
5: dago, wop

10/10/13: sledge:
(Australian slang) sledge

1/26/14: Cartoon etymology:

10/19/14: Quarantine:
really about the Etymological Fallacy (quarantine, decimate)

11/26/14: Annals of etymythology: to pass for:
as in to pass for/as white

11/28/14: Taking it Black:
Black Friday

11/28/14: More Black Friday etymythology:

12/26/14: Illegal tipping in Maine:
acronymic etymology for tip

1/15/15: Lexicographer, unchained:
Kory Stamper on the difficulties of etymology; Nosy Parker, gorp
KS: “Acronymic etymologies are, by and large, total horseshit.”

3/24/15: Where do you get your facts?:
source amnesia
“Not only do people prefer stories, they prefer satisfying stories: straightforward and uncomplex, but detailed and full of human interest, and conforming to our expectations about human nature and the motivations for actions. Factual accounts of events are rarely this satisfying.”

3/29/15: Boobies:
“There’s a lot of supposition in these stories”

5/2/15: Annals of idiomaticity:
Etymological Fallacy: one of the only

7/25/15: Morning names: najed mole rat, Penn Palestra:
section on etymological red herrings

11/6/15: crap(s) game:

11/8/15: Bizarro etymology:
fanciful etymology: moose

5/27/16: Morning spunk: same word, different word:
looking for a common meaning in words that are only etymologically related

10/26/16: Bring out your lukewarm etymythologies:
request for invented etymologies for lukewarm

Larry Horn on ADS-L 10/27/16, comment on my LUKEWARM posting:
I like “narratophilia” (sometimes, as with the faux acronyms of the “F.U.C.K.” class, manifesting as *narratomania*) as a diagnosis for the syndrome in question. In my 2004 American Speech paper (“Spitten image: etymythology and fluid dynamics”), cited by Arnold in his earlier posts on this topic, I attributed the appeal of etymythology to the fact that “The human animal loves a good story and in particular cherishes a narrative embedding privileged knowledge”. Only now do I realize what a challenge that sentence is to parse; making it through the last four words just took me several tries.

7/25/17: From Tex-Mex to naked rugby:
etymythology for Spanish nickname Chuy

3/27/18: An idiom comes to life:
frog in one’s throat

7/13/19: The Avocado Chronicles: 2 etymology and etymythology:
etymythology for avocado

10/16/19: Toadsuck catfish:
etymythology for the placename Toadsuck AR

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