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Etymology Junkie

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August 10, 2013 by kristin

My new favorite thing is the Online Etymology Dictionary.

For the past month, I’ve been working on yet another revision of my historical fiction manuscript, and on this latest (and LAST, for now, I hope) round of editing, the problems needing to be addressed were so minor that things like possibly anachronistic words stood out.

I made note of all these and other fixes as I read the manuscript on my Kindle and today, as I input the changes, I spent a lot of time on¬†Online Etymology Dictionary¬†looking up the etymology of words. Did you know “buddy” has been in use in American English since about 1850? And words like “job” and “kid” and phrases like “sick of” were also in common use well before the American Civil War.

So, good news! My characters sound like people from the 1860s! (Though I still changed “job” and “kid” – they just didn’t sound like the right words for the particular characters to be saying, even if they could technically have used them at the time.)


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About Kristin

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Kristin L. Walters is the author of YA historical novel THE GIRL IN LILAC AND GRAY. She blogs about writing, Southern women's history, Victorian photographs, old houses and vintage fashion.

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