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Where do the words (and expressions) come from

Today, in a lesson, I learned zhe expression "it gives me the heebie-jeebies". I was told the translation of course, but I am curious about the original meaning - if you can say so. Greeks call it etymology, coming from the word etymos meaning "true".


From time to time I'd wish to know more about these connections.
Language is living also in and from the past, isn't it?

3 comments

  • Thank you, Sandy, for your comment and the link.
    In this example (heebee-jeebies) I can feel the difference betweeen a native speaker and a student as a kind of border. The term sounds somehow, even for me as a German, but I don't know "to make a rhyme out of it" as we would say in German.
    Thanks anyway, and have a nice weekend.
  • Today, in a lesson, I learned zhe expression "it gives me the heebie-jeebies". I was told the translation of course, but I am curious about the original meaning - if you can say so. Greeks call it etymology, coming from the word etymos meaning "true".


    From time to time I'd wish to know more about these connections.
    Language is living also in and from the past, isn't it?
  • I agree with you, Louis. Knowing the etymology or the origin of an expression is working like mnemonics.


    About the slang expression saying that your speaker got the jitters, it's no use looking for an etymology. The heebie-jeebies were coined by a cartoonist, likely from alliteration.
    See: http://www.answers.com/topic/heebie-jeebies


    N-B The answers.com is my favourite dictionary on line.

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