Category: Languages

Etymology

Origin of the Word Life: The Copy Team Etymology Series

What is the meaning of ‘life’?  The answer to this question is almost five thousand years old and leads us to the Proto-Indo-European word ‘*lip’ meaning, ‘to remain, persevere, and continue’. When this word was adopted into the English language as ‘līf’ about 1500 years ago, it stayed true to its original meaning but closely …

Etymology

Origin of the Word Sweet: The Copy Team Etymology Series

The word ‘sweet’ can be traced back to the Old English ‘swete’, an adjective that meant, ‘pleasing to the senses, mind or feelings’. The word can be traced back to its Proto-Indo-European origins by ‘*swad’ (Sanskrit svādu) which makes the word over five thousand years old. For over 1500 years the word ‘sweet’ has been …

Etymology

Origin of the Word Play: The Copy Team Etymology Series

The origin of the word ‘play’ is unknown- all we do know is that English adopted the word ‘pleien’ meaning to ‘dance, leap for joy, and rejoice’ from Dutch in the later Middle Ages (c. 14th century). This was adopted into English as ‘pleg(i)an’, ‘to exercise, or frolic’. The original Dutch connotation of ‘play’ has …

English, Etymology, Languages

Origin of the Word Friend: The Copy Team Etymology Series

What does it mean to be a ‘friend’? The word ‘friend’ is one of the rare cases in the English language whose meaning has remained consistent throughout hundreds of years of usage.  ‘Friend’ is of Germanic origin and has existed in the English language since Old English. Back then, ‘friend’ existed as ‘frēond’ which was …

Etymology

Origin of the Word Love: The Copy Team Etymology Series

What ‘love’ means from person to person, let alone from century to century, is one of the most varied in the English language. The word ‘love’ was once ‘*leubh’, a word used by the Proto-Indo-Europeans approximately five thousand years ago to describe care and desire. When ‘love’ was incorporated into Old English as ‘lufu’, it …

Etymology

Origin of the Word Black: The Copy Team Etymology Series

The word ‘black’ can be traced back five thousand years to the Proto-Indo-European word ‘bhleg’ meaning ‘to burn with black smoke’ or ‘to burn black with smoke’. ‘Black’ was used in the English language from 450 AD onward as an adjective to describe ‘colour pertaining to matter that was colourless’.  It was not till the …

Academic, English, Writing Tips

5 tips for international students writing academic essays in English

International student essay writing

As an international student are you worried that your English writing skills aren’t good enough? Fret not! Read these five tips that will help you write an amazing essay: 1: Most native speakers are terrible writers. Don’t worry too much about the quality of your writing simply because English is your second language. The truth …