An Overview of Folk Etymology in the English Language

Etymology is defined as ‘History of a word.’ A further derivative of this word is Folk Etymology. It means a foreign or unfamiliar word which is adapted to a more familiar form through usage in a language. Folk Etymology in English language is an ongoing process that is prevalent for the last 1000 years. In this process foreign words have been assimilated in the English language through popular usage.

English belongs to the Indo – European group of languages. It is widely spoken all over the world. It is a matter for research that a language spoken by a few Anglo Saxons has become the Lingua Franca of the world. One of the reasons for this is the assimilation of foreign words through the process of folk etymology. Since the time William the Conqueror landed in England in 1066, the language has been constantly adopting words from other languages. There is no estimate about how many words have been assimilated in the language; because many of the words added have lost their original meaning.

English as we know it today has developed over a thousand years to reach its present state as the main language of communication, research, trade and business all over the world. The process to reach this pre-eminent position commenced in the 10th century when the Anglo-Saxon language became pre-eminent in England. Prior to this the process, folk etymology had commenced with the assimilation of Celtic words in English.

The process of folk etymology accelerated with the domination of England all over the world. The wars in France saw more French words being adopted. Much before French words were added to the English, Greek and Latin were adopted. This was a process of folk etymology.

A big hand was played by the British Empire where the adage ‘The sun never sets on the British Empire’ greatly added to assimilation of new words. The words in most cases were given a different spelling and also sometimes had a different meaning. A steady stream of words now flowed into the English language. As England expanded its frontiers, more and more words entered the vocabulary. English-speaking pioneers added new words to the language over a time. It is now acknowledged that over 120 languages have enriched the language as it exists today. There is no language in the world that can boast this sort of assimilation.

One of the reasons for the spread of English all over the globe is the resilience of the language. It readily allowed foreign words to be assimilated in it. When, the British colonized India, many words from local languages and dialects, like Hindi found their way into the language. Words like Guru, Kafir, Raja, Rani, Yogi Etc became part of folk etymology.

Folk etymology is also known as popular etymology. In a nutshell it means that a word is incorporated in the language. The word could be altered, so as to resemble at least partly a more familiar word or words. An example is the Latin word febrigugia (a plant with medicinal properties, etymologically ‘fever expeller’) was modified into English as feverfew.

Homeopathic Allergy Remedies – What Makes Them Different?

Homeopathy is not like any other medical practice. Even its name states the difference right up front: “Homeo” is derived from the Greek word “homoios,” meaning similar. Allopathy-or the common, Western form of disease treatment-is derived from the root “allos”, meaning other, different, opposite.

The words are only the beginning of the difference. They define the manner of practice and often the results one can expect.

Allopathic practitioners treat their patients by inducing a “different disease” in the patient’s body in the hopes of warding off those symptoms that are afflicting them. Another way of saying it is that they introduce the “opposite” force, thereby suppressing the presenting symptoms, but not effectively curing the disease. An example is the use of an aspirin to force down a fever. It accomplishes the task of eliminating the symptom, but does not cure the disease process or heal the predisposed weakness of the organism. Another common occurrence is the suppression of a rash with cortisone. It may make the rash disappear for a time, but it does not cure the cause for it.

Homeopathic practitioners treat disease in a way that intends to facilitate a natural healing of the individual at the most elemental level and as gently as possible by using infinitesimally minute doses (often imperceptible to the microscope) of a substance. The way a practitioner chooses a remedy is via the principle of “like cures like.” What that means is that the remedy is composed of a substance or group of substances in very minute doses. When the remedy is given to a healthy person in a process called “proving,” it will produce a set of symptoms-such as tearing, sneezing, itchy eyes and a scratchy throat. When that remedy is given to a person WITH those symptoms, those symptoms clear up. It is a practice that was esteemed as far back as Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine.

One fellow, Brett Brunner, who runs a website on word etiologies, describes the beautiful ease of the law of similars with a personal story:

“Homeopathy is a way of treating a disease or ailment by etymologically giving a “similar disease” but in very small doses to the patient, in the hopes that the patient will develop a healthy immune response, and thereby be able to ward off the disease; for instance, I was once highly allergic to cats, and so, before I visited people’s homes who had cats, I used to ingest drops that mimicked cat dander to allow my immune system to build up a homeopathic response. At times this appeared to be highly effective, and it is true that I am no longer allergic to cats!”

Homeopathic allergy remedies are quite different than the typical allergy vaccination even though on the surface they may appear the same. Regular vaccines introduce a gross quantity of the offending material into the system and, as a result, overwhelm rather than strengthen the organism.

Homeopathic allergy remedies, such as the ones now introduced by Allergena, use such radically diluted and succussed substances that they are able to gently induce the desired response in the individual and promote overall health without the overload on the immune system.

Statistics for Allergies and Hope With Allergy Remedies Prepared by Region

The principle of the treatment of the individual is critically important in homeopathy and equally so when it comes to alleviating the discomfort of allergies. What ails someone in New York is not the same as what discomfits a fellow in Houston. The triggers are different, thus the remedies must be different. For instance, junipers grow all over the country. Just as cedars and shrub oaks do. But the specific species are different. Thus the pollen produced in a New Mexico juniper is not the same as the pollen produced in New York. A geographical approach is not just neat and tidy. It is good science.

And, as the statistics show, there is a great deal of discomfort to alleviate and more than a few triggers for allergy sufferers. The most recent data from the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America estimates that more than 50 million Americans suffer from one or more allergies. That’s more than 20 percent. This number has been growing every year.

It is the fifth leading chronic disease in the United States for all ages and the third most in children under 18 years of age.

There are indoor allergies, outdoor allergies, skin allergies and chemical (or food and drug) allergies. Traditional medicine considers all allergies (see aafa.org documents) “incurable” and that they are just “manageable” with certain medications. For the 40 million Americans who suffer from air-born allergy triggers (trees, grasses, mold spores, dander, etc…), that does not offer much help or hope.

Homeopathy takes a different view and offers considerable hope of relief from the oppressive symptoms of allergies.

Allergena products, for instance, offer allergy relief in combination homeopathic form that is tailored to meet the needs of individuals with allergies in each of the nine geographic zones in the United States.

Let’s say you live in the Southwest. That would be zone 6 and would include Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. It’s hard for some people to imagine what could give someone allergy symptoms in a desert…but there are over 120 different extracts of trees, weeds and grasses that Allergena has homeopathically prepared to minimize a person’s sensitivity to any or all of those triggers. And there are a great many allergies (and allergy sufferers!)-even in the deserts of the southwest.

According to pre-market testing of these homeopathic allergy remedies that have been crafted for use by region, people are experiencing relief during the first two weeks of use, while others experience relief during the first six weeks.

How Do Homeopathic Allergy Remedies Work?