Monday, April 11, 2016

Where Do These Words Come From?

When writing, I consider myself a student of language--always learning. Especially as I'm a writer by desire, not originally educated as one, I feel I have a lot of catching up to do. Still, though, I don't let grammar rules stand in my way.

One thing that fascinates me is the origin of words. I finished reading an adventure book from 1911 called "Tom Swift and His Wireless Message", one of a series of young adult (or perhaps juvenile fiction). And certain words and phrases caught my attention. For example, I saw the words 'today' and 'tomorrow' written as 'to-day' and 'to-morrow'.

Returning to the Internet well, I ladled out this bit of research, from a site called the Online Etymology Dictionary:

To-day derived from the Old English to dæge, meaning 'on this day'. Those Old English folks wrote it as two words 'to day' until the 1500s, then 'to-day' until sometime after 1911, as my Tom Swift book has it as 'to-day'.

About the same origin for 'to-morrow', meaning 'on the morrow'. Those Old English folks again, and it started as 'to morgenne' (morning evolved from morgenne). Once again, 'to morrow' until the 1500s, 'to-morrow' until my Tom Swift books, then 'tomorrow'.

On a side note, I just broke Spellcheck with the Old English words.

I have other word origins to toss your way, but not to-day. How about to-morrow?

For more about word origins, click on the following links:

Keep writing, friends.


  1. Fascinating stuff Tom, very interesting. Have you every played the board games "Balderdash" or "Origins"? They are based on similar themes. I think you'd enjoy them. :) Later, Vince

    1. Thanks, man. Yep, many moons ago I've played them. Love them. See ya later, amigo. :-)


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