Thursday, July 18, 2002

More dusty etymology from M-W, whose Word of the Day is misnomer:

What's in a name? Well, in some cases, a name will contain an error, a misunderstanding, or a mislabeling. Historians have long noted that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, Roman, nor an empire. The Battle of Bunker Hill was actually fought on Breed's Hill. And the Pennsylvania Dutch are actually of German ancestry. For such cases we have the term "misnomer," which comes from the Middle French verb "mesnommer" ("to misname") and ultimately from "nomen," the Latin word for "name."

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