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A widely respected etymologist, classical scholar, authority on civil law, historian, and biographer, he was also an untiring controversialist, editor of the works of poets such as Tasso and Malherbe, and author of amorous verses of his own in four languages.
ONCE again we have an expert linguist or etymologist raising the hoary old question of the Welsh for certain words in everyday use.
Kingwell has a knack for being topical and timeless, playful and profound; he can chase you back to the Greeks or to Star Trek; he can reference The X-Files or Neil Postman; he can play a very culturally literate pop guru or a scholarly etymologist.
Few realize that he also worked professionally as an etymologist during a two-year stint helping to write the Oxford English Dictionary--a period, he said later, when he learned more than in any other comparable time in his life.
But, as any good etymologist knows, by looking at the origin and root of a word, we can learn something more.
George Eliot probably named Casaubon, the dry pedant in Middlemarch, after an undistinguished etymologist she found buried in Johnson's Dictionary.
In due course she became by turn historian, biographer, etymologist, and versifier, all the while acting as sole editor, from 1851 to 1893, of the Monthly Packet.
Any etymologist worth his salt will tell you that the bad language of yesterday is the acceptable language of today and the dying language of tomorrow.
To be present when Mac Low was composing, or to engage with him in conversational repartee, was to relish the knowledgeable humor of a passionate autodidact and virtuoso etymologist, spurred by the painfully compassionate social sensibilities of a political activist.
To the etymologist, Harold was a first name that fell out of use soon after the Norman Conquest and was then revived in the Victorian era; but to the local historian it is a name used in the Cotgrave area of Nottinghamshire, from the sixteenth century, in a network of families within the wider community.
Being an etymologist she searches for herself in dictionaries and relishes the "lovely words: pyrolusite, ignimbrite, omphacite, uvarovite, glaucophane, schist, shale, gneiss, tuff.
Szumlas is an etymologist who studies insecticides and repellants for sand flies, mosquitoes, ants, cockroaches, the dreaded "no-seeums" and any other bug, bird, insect or animal carrying diseases that infect our troops.