Linguistic science describing origins of particular words.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

7
votes
2answers
675 views

When was “diablo” first used to refer to the Devil?

I'd curious to know how and when the word diablo came to mean the Devil. In Luc Ferry's A Brief History of Thought, he states: The devil is rather one who, spiritually speaking, does everything ...
6
votes
1answer
135 views

Are there any good sources on the history of the name for Kazakhstan?

I'm having a very hard time finding sources on the history of Kazakhstan's name changes. My query began when I read this quote: Have you ever wished you could change your name? In 1995, the people ...
4
votes
2answers
108 views

'Sub rosa' council meetings

Wiktionary's etymology of the term sub rosa reads: The rose's connotation for secrecy dates back to Greek mythology. Aphrodite gave a rose to her son Eros, the god of love; he, in turn, gave it to ...
4
votes
2answers
95 views

Where and why were capital letters first used in English headlines?

The words in headlines are capitalized. I'm interested in the history of this. Where and why were capital letters first used in headlines? Where is this practice of capitalization of words in English ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

Who first coined the name “Wahhabi”?

Specifically, did Muslims coin it or non-Muslims? Is there any evidence, recorded in history, about the first usage of this term?
3
votes
2answers
400 views

What is the basis for the claims that the word “Israel” means “Exiled for their sins”?

Joseph Davidovits claims that the word "iisii-r-iar", "ysrỉar" or however you want to transcribe it, which appears on the Merneptah Stele, is an Egyptian phrase meaning "those who are exiled for their ...
3
votes
1answer
689 views

What is the etymology of Haiti's name? [closed]

A long time ago someone told me a story which is very unclear. They said that Haiti got the name from the American Civil War after the slave trade when the slaves occupied the country it was or ...
3
votes
2answers
313 views

Latin/Greek for assassin

As far as I am aware, assassin comes from the Arabic حشاشين‎ (Ḥashshāshīn). Clearly, the concept of murdering someone for either political or religious reasons was not invented by the Ḥashshāshīn. ...
2
votes
0answers
220 views

What is the history of the “root” user in Unix computing? [closed]

It might be more relevant to the audiences of StackOverflow, ServerFault, or Programmers, but none of their FAQs covered this type of question. What is the origin of the "root" user in Unix-like ...
1
vote
6answers
169 views

What lands have been called by names chosen to disassociate those lands from its inhabitants

Historically, the name "Persia" has been applied to southern Asia to disassociate that land from the people who inhabit it, who called themselves Aran. Similarly, the name "Palestine" has been applied ...
1
vote
0answers
172 views

Why is our planet called Earth? [closed]

How did the Earth get its name? The answer on Wikipedia is a bit short and unhelpful. I was not just referring to its English name - in the few languages I know it translates to basically the same ...
-2
votes
1answer
69 views

What was World War 1 called before World War 2? [closed]

Today it seems common to refer to both World Wars with the terms "World War 1" and "World War 2" pretty much everywhere. (in the respective translation of course) But I recently realized that this ...