Etymology of common English words
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Etymology Of Words We Use Every Day

Perhaps words are translated because a better one cannot be created

Etymology Of Words We Use Every Day

Do you ever wonder about the history of the words you use everyday? Or you say a certain word too many times and you think, "why is this even a word?" Etymology is the study of the origin of words and how their meanings have changed over time. While I could not find exactly why the words were made up, I found the origin language in which they were born and decided to share on the useless but interesting trivia.



"OK' was originated in the mid 19th century in the United States. The intials are most likely derived from 'orl korrect' which is a humorous version of "all correct". The term "all correct" became popularized during President Van Burren's re-election. His nickname being 'Old Kinderhook' provided the initials which was then used as wordplay for his re-election thus, the birth of "OK"

Lavatory/ Bathroom


Deriving from the Latin language is "lavare" meaning 'to wash' then to late Latin meaning 'place for washing'. The word orginally mean something in which to wash, like a bath. Then, during the 17th century, lavatory began to mean 'a room with washing facilities'.

The word 'bathroom' was born in the 20th century which was actually used as a euphemism for a lavatory. 'To go to the bathroom' is a euphemism for 'to relieve oneself.'



Derived from the Latin word "vacare" which is translated to "vacate" in English. The simple meaning of vacare is to be unoccupied.



Store derived from the Latin word 'instaurare' which evolved to the old French word 'estorer' which now translates to 'store' in English. The original meaning of this word is renew.


Originated in Latin meaning 'look at' then to the old French word 'mirour'. An early meaning of this word is 'a person deserving imitation'.



Originated in Greek meaning 'chaos'. This word was invented by J. B. Van Helmont, a Belgian chemist, when attempting to denote the principle or state in which he believed to exist in all matter.



The word 'school' originated in the Greek language in which 'skhole' means 'leisure,philosophy, lecture place'.

Check/ Bill


In Middle English, this word was originally used in a game of chess. It originated in Persian, then to Medieval Latin, to Old French. The verb 'eschequier' in Old French means 'play chess, put in check'. The connotation of 'stop' or 'control' derived from the use in chess and in the late 17th century led to the connotation of 'examine the accuracy of'.

The word bill derived from Medieval Latin word 'bulla' which is translated to 'seal or sealed document'.


'Animal' derived from the Latin word 'anima' which is translated to 'breath' then evolved to the Latin word 'animalis' which means 'having breath'. The original definition of 'animal' is 'having breath'.



The flashlight was invented in the United States by a British inventor named David Misell in 1899. However, the word flash-light originated in 1886 and means 'on and off signal of light' as used by a light house. Originally, literally meant flashes of light which was used as a signal. In the 1890's the term was used for a camera's flash.

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