You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Etymology’ category.

A secluded enclosure or part of a garden, especially one attached to a large house. Anglo-Norman “pleisance”=delight, pleasure < Latin “placentia”=agreeable < “placere”=to please.

Having committed a sin; causing disease. Middle French “peccant”=unhealthy < Latin “peccans”=wrongdoer, sinner < “peccare”=to sin.

Used in entomology to describe insects without wings. Greek “apteros” < “a-“=without + “pteros”=wing.

South African word for a small rural town or village often used to suggest that a place is backward or unimpressive. Dutch “dorp” < Old Germanic “*thorpo”=village.

To try to deceive someone with flattery or lies. West Indian < Spanish “mamar el gallo”=literally “to feed the cockeral” i.e to make someone appear foolish.

A curse, swear word. Scottish < Old Flemish “wensch”=curse.

An indoor structure where animals are kept in conditions that are as similar as possible to their natural environment. Latin “vivarium”=place to keep live game < “vivere”=to live + “-arium”=a place for.

Fish-eating; related to a diet of fish. Latin “piscis”=fish + “-vorous=devouring < “vorare”=to devour, eat.

A group of cats. Variation of “clutter”=a mass or confused collection < Old English “clot”=A mass or lump formed by clumping or congealing.

Someone who speaks Portuguese. Latin “Lusitania”=Portugal + Greek “fonos”=adjective-forming suffix meaning to make the sound of < “foni”=voice, sound, language.

Using the site

Use the Search box below to look for a specific word. Use the A-Z tab to browse pages of words.
Follow Tweetionary: An Etymology Dictionary on