folk etymology


: the transformation of words so as to give them an apparent relationship to other better-known or better-understood words (as in the change of Spanish cucaracha to English cockroach)
folk-etymological adjective
folk-etymological alterations
folk-etymologize transitive verb
folk-etymologized; folk-etymologizing; folk-etymologizes
The French term chaise longue, meaning "long chair," was folk-etymologized in English to chaise lounge.

Word History

First Known Use

1882, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of folk etymology was in 1882

Dictionary Entries Near folk etymology

Cite this Entry

“Folk etymology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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