Some Modern English Terms Come from Way Back…


Some English terms go back further than you’d think…

-OMG The first recorded appearance of this breathless acronym for “Oh, my God!” comes, surprisingly, in a letter to Winston Churchill. (1917)

-LITERALLY Word curmudgeons wince when “literally” is used figuratively. Examples of this inversion go back to 1769. Even Mark Twain did it. (1876)

-UNFRIEND Facebook was born in 2004. Unfriending began a tad earlier… "I Hope, Sir, that we are not mutually Un-friended by this Difference which hath happened betwixt us." (1659)

The above references are from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).  See more in this article in the NY Times about the OED.

This article was posted on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 at 10:29 am and is filed under Books & Stories, Countries & Cultures, Dictionaries, England, English, Languages, USA, Words & Phrases. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply