98 votes
Accepted

Is there a relationship between the words "night" and "eight"?

No, they are unrelated. Some Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) reconstructions from Wiktionary: "eight": "oḱtṓw" (claimed to be a dual of "four fingers") "night&...
bobbib's user avatar
  • 876
76 votes
Accepted

Is "tag" named for "touch and go"?

No, but the association between "tag" and "touch and go" is more than 100 years old. See the 1912 printing of the song A GAME OF TAG: playing tag, Touch and go And in the 1902 ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 107k
59 votes

Is there a relationship between the words "night" and "eight"?

In English "eight" and "night" came from different words, "ehte" and "niht" respectively, which have both undergone a common substitution of -gh- for a hard "h", which was a Middle English scribal ...
Dmitry Grigoryev's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Is the use of X for unknown quantities taken from the Arabic word "shay"?

Most likely no. X is one of many symbols used for unknowns throughout the history of mathematics, and comes from a notation in the 1600's that used several other letters alongside X. Some Arab ...
Giter's user avatar
  • 11.4k
13 votes
Accepted

Did Marx use the word "capitalism"?

It is quite absurd to claim that Marx did not know that word. Although, in his most important writings the exact letter sequence is indeed not recorded. For example: It is not in the German version of ...
LangLаngС's user avatar
  • 44.1k
10 votes

Is "tag" named for "touch and go"?

Created an account just to answer this question. Whilst 'tango' does indeed mean touch, I don't think this is the true origin. It only takes 5 minutes to Google (and/or a knowledge of British 'tag' ...
Cuz's user avatar
  • 101
9 votes

Was the oven mitt first developed by Earl Mitt?

I found some evidence (all of which points very strongly against any "Earl Mitt") and assembled a timeline: 1757: Mitt (a clipping of "mitten" with the same meaning) is first ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 31.2k
8 votes

Is Nazi a diminutive of Ignatius?

Yes and no. Nazi can be and was a diminutive form of the name Ignatius. In Bavaria and Austria is is no longer that popular in this form now. To name a quite prominent example: Johann Nepomuk Eduard ...
LangLаngС's user avatar
  • 44.1k
6 votes

Does the word "butterfly" stem from an erroneous transcription of "flutterby"?

TL/DR: It's more probable that the name really derives from butter because other Germanic dialects relate the insect with diary products as well. To explain why, the Brothers Grimm suggest a ...
wra's user avatar
  • 161
6 votes
Accepted

Was the term "goosebumps" ever used to refer to venereal sores?

Yes. From: Frédéric Buret: "Syphilis to-day and among the ancients, Vol 2-3 – Syphilis in the Middle Ages & Syphilis in Modern Times", Philadelphia: F. A. Davis, 1895, p.48: The second proof ...
LangLаngС's user avatar
  • 44.1k
5 votes

Was "Yankee" originally a derisive term for smugglers?

It's not as certain as Pete's answer makes it. Wikipedia's take, just on the Dutch angle: Most linguists look to Dutch language sources, noting the extensive interaction between the Dutch colonists ...
Dolphin 613 Motorboat's user avatar
4 votes

Was the word 'racist' coined by Trotsky in 1927?

The meme as displayed is anachronistic, ahistorical and a complete confabulation of terms and meanings. It makes really no direct sense whatsoever. But as a symptom to be used as a diagnostic marker ...
LangLаngС's user avatar
  • 44.1k
4 votes
Accepted

Do Muslims call an inner layer of a hijab a "ninja"?

Partial answer: Addresses use of "ninja", doesn't address etymology. Several hijab stores refer to a part of the hijab as a ninja, without any sign of being ironic in nature. The page https://www....
Golden Cuy's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Was the living room called the "death room" around World War I? If so, by whom?

The 1990 book Sleeping Beauty: Memorial Photography in America says: To remove the stigma of death from the home this "death room" became a "living room" by simple decree by the ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 107k
4 votes

Was "Yankee" originally a derisive term for smugglers?

The claim being made is basically false because the etymology of yankee is not certain to anyone. These are the three strongest arguments I see: 1/3: It originated from an unknown African language, ...
Avery's user avatar
  • 45.8k
3 votes
Accepted

Has any scholar proposed an etymology of "pissed" (in the sense of "drunk") related to drinking psychoactive urine?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it dates to 1812, but with the spelling "pist" in Rhymes of Northern Bards Being a Curious Collection of Old and New Songs and Poems, Peculiar to ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 107k
3 votes

Did Marx use the word "capitalism"?

LаngLаngС found that: "Kapitalismus" does not appear in the German version of Das Kapital Bd. I. It does appear in Das Kapital Bd. II published from Marx's notes after Marx's death. It does appear in ...
Avery's user avatar
  • 45.8k
2 votes

Was the oven mitt first developed by Earl Mitt?

Gloves to protect from heat are much older than the 1870s date in the claim. For example, in the 01 February 1830 Gazette of Health (vol. XV, No. 170, page 844) is the article "Preservation of ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 107k
1 vote

Was "Yankee" originally a derisive term for smugglers?

From Etymology Online : Yankee (n.) 1683, a name applied disparagingly by Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam (New York) to English colonists in neighboring Connecticut. ... Originally it seems to have ...
Pete's user avatar
  • 280
1 vote

Did Marx use the word "capitalism"?

I had a look at the etymology of capitalism and, according to Wikipedia: The initial usage of the term capitalism in its modern sense has been attributed to Louis Blanc in 1850 and Pierre-Joseph ...
luchonacho's user avatar

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