Sources of Etymological Reference in the English Language

Richard A. Gray (Editor at Pierian Press and a former reference librarian.)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Publication date: 1 February 1986


While granting Cowper the full poetic license he is entitled to, prosaically I must observe that it is not the syllables but rather the philogists who pant. They do indeed breathe rapidly in short gasps after they have established each successively deeper level of root connection in pursuit of the etymological purpose of delineating the origin and historical development of words, or of providing an account of any given word. Etymology as so defined I will designate analytic etymology and distinguish from another form of word study, which I shall call reconstructive etymology.


Gray, R.A. (1986), "Sources of Etymological Reference in the English Language", Reference Services Review, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 9-17.

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Copyright © 1986, MCB UP Limited

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