The AnkiDroid Collection (Part 36) – Etymology Special

Ankidroid additions related to Science, History and Philosophy. More information about Anki can be found in this article.


Etymology is the history of linguistic form (such as a word) and tracing its earliest recorded meaning and its use over time. The English language is living and growing. New words are added all the time. For words: interesting histories and origins will provide a context. For example, a hippopotamus is a ‘river horse’. From the Greek ‘hippos‘ which means horse and potamus‘ meaning ‘river‘.

Hobson’s Choice

Portrait of Thomas Hobson in the National Portrait Gallery, London

If you were offered a Hobson’s choice, would you know what was meant?  Thomas Hobson (1544–1631) owned a livery stable in seventeenth-century England.  He loved his horses, and to prevent any one horse from being overworked, he hired them out in turn, beginning with stall number one.  Customers had to take the horses they were given.  Thus Hobson’s choice means no choice at all.


Fighting Joe

A synonym for prostitute. The term became popular during the Civil War. The women involved were camp followers. General “Fighting Joe” Hooker approved their presence in order to boost the morale of his men.

1. Etymology: The Origin of Words – Cuesta College

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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2 comments on “The AnkiDroid Collection (Part 36) – Etymology Special
  1. I never knew the etymology of hooker.

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