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CHAPTER 3

The Etymology of English Words.1

Are All English Words

Really English?

As a matter of fact, they are — if we regard them in the light of present-day English. If, however, their origins are looked into, the picture may seem somewhat bewildering. A person who does not know English but knows French (Italian, Latin, Spanish) is certain to recognise a great number of familiar-looking words when skipping through an English book.

It is true that English vocabulary, which is one of the most extensive amongst the world's languages contains an immense number of words of foreign origin. Explanations for this should be sought in the history of the language which is closely connected with the history of the nation speaking the language. In order to have a better understanding of the problem, it will be necessary to go through a brief survey of certain historical facts, relating to different epochs.

* * *

The first century В. С. Most of the territory now, known to us as Europe is occupied by the Roman Empire. Among the inhabitants of the continent are Germanic tribes, "barbarians" as the arrogant Romans call them. Theirs is really a rather primitive stage of development, especially if compared with the high civilisation and refinement of Rome. They are primitive cattle-

By etymology of words is understood their origin.

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