Category: Word Archaeology

Word Archaeology: flak

This word, first used about 1938, is derived from the German phrase “fliegerabwehrkanonen”, a combination of “flieger” (flyer), “abwehr” (defense), and “kanonen” (cannons). It refers to...

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Word Archaeology: finnesko

This word, derived from the Norwegian “finnsko” (“finn” for Finnish and Old Norse “sko” for shoe), refers to a furred boot made from tanned reindeer skin....

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Word Archaeology: fenestra

This word, first used circa 1737, refers to small anatomical openings in certain bones (especially in the skull). Fenestra is derived from the Latin word for...

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Word Archaeology: felsenmeer

This word, from the German (“sea of rock”), refers to rock surfaces broken by frost under the wreckage of angular, shattered boulders. Felsenmeer are primarily found...

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Word Archaeology: fabliau

This word refers to a comic tale, often written anonymously, between the 12th and 15th centuries. They’re characterized by sexual and scatological obscenity. Geoffrey Chaucer reworked...

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Word Archaeology: exscind

This word, first used about 1662, means to cut off or cut out (similar to “excise”). It’s derived from the Latin “excscindere” (to destroy or tear...

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