The Etymologise App


How about the World’s simplest Dictionary?

H ave you ever tried learning words directly out of a dictionary? Did you experience forgetting the meaning after a while? Did you get baffled by the multiplicity in meanings that every word has?

Dictionaries are romantically fascinating old-world charm books, with the musty smell of paper. In a fast changing world, few things can provide reassurance of stability like the unchanging use of old typeface serif fonts and cramped page payout. Hence, we love dictionaries!

However, what we English teachers do not tell you is that dictionaries are not study-manuals. A dictionary is a reference book. It is meant to be referred to. These books are not designed to be educative. The content layout is not presented in a manner that helps you read fast. Dictionaries also require a fair bit of training before they can be used fully. They use a lot of jargon: ever noticed terms like arch., PIE, vbl. n.? Also, irony has it that you need to be fairly good at English to read a dictionary to advantage.

Bottom line: a dictionary is a reference book designed to help you get a quick reference for a word, not to make you remember it.

Try these out instead

eninsula = pen (almost) + insula (island) | a peninsula is almost an island, surrounded by water on all sides but one.
Other “pen” words – penultimate; penumbra, etc.
Other “insul” words – insulation; insulated, etc.

ymbiosis = sym (together) +bio (life) + sis (process) | symbiosis is the state of living together in harmony
Other “sym/syn” words – symmetry; synthesis, synergy, synecdoche, etc.
Other “bi(o)” words – biology; amphibian; bioluminescence; antibiotic

hilanthropist = phil (love) + anthrop (human) + ist (one who) | a philanthropist is one who has and express her/his love for humans (often through acts of charity and kindness)
Other “phil” words – logophiliaphiladelphia; philately; philosophy, etc.
Other “anthrop” words – misanthropist; anthropoid; abthropomorphism

Presenting Etymologise – the world’s simplest dictionary. Stay tuned for updates on the launch date.


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