Monday 8 November 2021

The Illustrated Etymologicon


It is of immense importance to absolutely everyone that The Illustrated Etymologicon is now published, out, in the shops, for sale, and begging to be bought. 

It's the same text as the original Etymologicon, but now filled, on each and every page, with delicious illustrations. 

Is is therefore illustrious.

Illustrious and illustration both come from the Latin illustratus which meant lit up. In English the word illustration came first, and it meant to teach by means of examples, shedding light upon an abstract subject. 

The Illustrated Etymologicon is therefore both illuminating and illuminated, enlightening and enlightened. It is, if you like, an illuminated manuscript. 

The book is available in most English speaking territories, and in the lost former colony of the USA it can still be obtained by ordering it from The Book Depository.

Incidentally, the mini in miniature has nothing whatsoever to do with the mini in minute or minimum or miniskirt. In Medieval illuminated manuscripts there were little pictures painted by little monks. These pictures were often painted using red lead or minium. Because of that the verb for painting little pictures was miniare. And because of that the little pictures were called miniatures. The word then got applied to anything small. 

Anyhow, all your Christmas presents are going to be this: