Word Nerd Alert!

We’ve posted a few videos from Mental Floss’ ongoing series that looks at the oddities of language (more here and here) and like most editors, I have a deep fascination with language and etymology. Here a short video on words in English that seem closely related but in fact have very different roots. For example, there’s no “male” in “female”. Male goes back to the Latin “masculus”, but female comes from the French “femelle”, from the Latin “femella”. Here’s hoping that future videos will answer the really important questions about word origins.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


1 Thought on "Words That Aren’t As Related As They Might Seem"

While this is late enough that perhaps no one will read it except the moderator, my favorite is the spice, “rosemary” that has nothing to do with either “rose” or “mary” but is rather from the latin term “ros marinus,” “dew of the sea.

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