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Региональная научно-практическая конференция учащихся и педагогов образовательных

учреждений Московской области «Наука для всех» в рамках Дня науки, приуроченного

к 70-летию Победы в Великой Отечественной войне


Номинация: (лингвистика)

Тема: «Этимология названий, обозначающих достопримечательности Лондона»

Образовательное учреждение: МОУ «Гимназия № 21»

Муниципальное образование (город Электросталь)

Автор работы: ученик 8-в класса, Либанов Никита

Научный руководитель: учитель английского языка Разумовская Н.А.

2015 г.







Humanity has been interested in words’ origin since ancient times. The study of words means the work with dictionaries and historical documents. Etymology and Toponymy are sciences dealt with words and their origin. Linguists try to systematize the words according to different positions: place-names.

This work is the attempt to systematize the names, denoting places of interest in London for the first time.


Etymology is the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. By an extension, the term "the etymology of [a word]" means the origin of the particular word.

For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during earlier periods of their history and when they entered the languages in question. Etymologists also apply the methods of comparative linguistics to reconstruct information about languages that are too old for any direct information to be available.

By analyzing related languages with a technique known as the comparative method, linguists can make inferences about their shared parent language and its vocabulary. In this way, word roots have been found that can be traced all the way back to the origin of, for instance, the Indo-European language family.

Even though etymological research originally grew from the philological tradition, currently much etymological research is done onlanguage families where little or no early documentation is available, such as Uralic and Austronesian.

The word etymology is derived from the Greek word ἐτυμολογία, etymologia, itself from ἔτυμον, etymon, meaning "true sense" and the suffix -logia, denoting "the study of".

Etymologists apply a number of methods to study the origins of words, some of which are:

  • Philological research. Changes in the form and meaning of the word can be traced with the aid of older texts, if such are available.

  • Making use of dialectological data. The form or meaning of the word might show variations between dialects, which may yield clues about its earlier history.

  • The comparative method. By a systematic comparison of related languages, etymologists may often be able to detect which words derive from their common ancestor language and which were instead later borrowed from another language.

  • The study of semantic change. Etymologists must often make hypotheses about changes in the meaning of particular words. Such hypotheses are tested against the general knowledge of semantic shifts. For example, the assumption of a particular change of meaning may be substantiated by showing that the same type of change has occurred in other languages as well.

Types of word origins

Etymological theory recognizes that words originate through a limited number of basic mechanisms, the most important of which are borrowing (i.e., the adoption of "loanwords" from other languages); word formation such as derivation and compounding; and onomatopoeia and sound symbolism, (i.e., the creation of imitative words such as "click").

While the origin of newly emerged words is often more or less transparent, it tends to become obscured through time due to sound change or semantic change. Due to sound change, it is not readily obvious that the English word set is related to the word sit (the former is originally a causative formation of the latter). It is even less obvious that bless is related to blood (the former was originally a derivative with the meaning "to mark with blood").

Semantic change may also occur. For example, the English word bead originally meant "prayer". It acquired its modern meaning through the practice of counting the recitation of prayers by using beads.

English derives from Old English (sometimes referred to as Anglo-Saxon), a West Germanic variety, although its current vocabulary includes words from many languages. The Old English roots may be seen in the similarity of numbers in English and German, particularly seven/sieben, eight/acht, nine/neun, and ten/zehn. Pronouns are also cognate: I/mine/me ich/mein/mich; thou/thine/thee and du/dein/dich; we/wir us/uns; she/her sie/ihr(?).

However, language change has eroded many grammatical elements, such as the noun case system, which is greatly simplified in modern English, and certain elements of vocabulary, some of which are borrowed from French. Although many of the words in the English lexicon come from Romance languages, most of the common words used in English are of Germanic origin.

When the Normans conquered England in 1066 (see Norman Conquest), they brought their Norman language with them. During the Anglo-Norman period, which united insular and continental territories, the ruling class spoke Anglo-Norman, while the peasants spoke the vernacular English of the time. Anglo-Norman was the conduit for the introduction of French into England, aided by the circulation of Langue d'oïl literature from France.

This led to many paired words of French and English origin. For example, beef is related, through borrowing, to modern French bœuf, veal to veau, pork to porc, and poultry to poulet. All these words, French and English, refer to the meat rather than to the animal. Words that refer to farm animals, on the other hand, tend to be cognates of words in other Germanic languages. For example swine/Schwein, cow/Kuh, calf/Kalb, and sheep/Schaf. The variant usage has been explained by the proposition that it was the Norman rulers who mostly ate meat (an expensive commodity) and the Anglo-Saxons who farmed the animals. This explanation has passed into common folklore but has been disputed.

Assimilation of foreign words

English has proved accommodating to words from many languages. Scientific terminology, for example, relies heavily on words of Latin and Greek origin, but there are a great many non-scientific examples. Spanish has contributed many words, particularly in the southwestern United States. Examples include buckaroo, alligator, rodeo, savvy, and states' names such as Colorado and Florida. Albino, palaver, lingo, verandah, and coconut from Portuguese; diva and prima donna from Italian.

Smorgasbord, slalom, and ombudsman are from Swedish, Danish and Norwegian; sauna from Finnish; adobe, alcohol, algebra, algorithm, apricot, assassin, caliber, cotton,hazard, jacket, jar, julep, mosque, Muslim, orange, safari, sofa, and zero from Arabic (often via other languages); behemoth, hallelujah, Satan, jubilee, and rabbi from Hebrew; taiga, steppe, bolshevik, and sputnik from Russian; brahman, guru, karma, and pundit from Sanskrit; honcho, sushi, and tsunami from Japanese; dim sum, gung ho, kowtow, kumquat, ketchup, and typhoon from Cantonese.

Kampong and amok are from Malay; and boondocks from the Tagalog word for hills or mountains, bundok. Surprisingly few loanwords, however, come from other languages native to the British Isles. Those that exist include coracle, cromlech and (probably) flannel, gull and penguin from Welsh; galore and whisky from Scottish Gaelic; phoney,trousers, and Tory from Irish; and eerie and canny from Scots (or related Northern English dialects).

Many Canadian English and American English words (especially but not exclusively plant and animal names) are loanwords from Indigenous American languages, such asbarbecue, bayou, chili, chipmunk, hooch, hurricane, husky, mesquite, opossum, pecan, squash, toboggan, and tomato.

The search for meaningful origins for familiar or strange words is far older than the modern understanding of linguistic evolution and the relationships of languages, which began no earlier than the 18th century. From Antiquity through the 17th century, from Pāṇini to Pindar to Sir Thomas Browne, etymology had been a form of witty wordplay, in which the supposed origins of words were changed to satisfy contemporary requirements.

The Greek poet Pindar (born in approximately 522 BCE) employed creative etymologies to flatter his patrons. Plutarch employed etymologies insecurely based on fancied resemblances in sounds. Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae was an encyclopedic tracing of "first things" that remained uncritically in use in Europe until the sixteenth century.Etymologicum genuinum is a grammatical encyclopedia edited at Constantinople in the ninth century, one of several similar Byzantine works. The fourteenth-century Legenda Aurea begins each vita of a saint with a fanciful excursus in the form of an etymology.

Ancient Sanskrit.

The Sanskrit linguists and grammarians of ancient India were the first to make a comprehensive analysis of linguistics and etymology. The study of Sanskrit etymology has provided Western scholars with the basis of historical linguistics and modern etymology. Four of the most famous Sanskrit linguists are:

These linguists were not the earliest Sanskrit grammarians, however. They followed a line of ancient grammarians of Sanskrit who lived several centuries earlier like Sakatayanaof whom very little is known. The earliest of attested etymologies can be found in Vedic literature in the philosophical explanations of the Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads.

The analyses of Sanskrit grammar done by the previously mentioned linguists involved extensive studies on the etymology (called Nirukta or Vyutpatti in Sanskrit) of Sanskrit words, because the ancient Indo-Aryans considered sound and speech itself to be sacred and, for them, the words of the sacred Vedas contained deep encoding of the mysteries of the soul and God.

Ancient Greco-Roman

One of the earliest philosophical texts of the Classical Greek period to address etymology was the Socratic dialogue Cratylus (c. 360 BCE) by Plato. During much of the dialogue,Socrates makes guesses as to the origins of many words, including the names of the gods. In his Odes Pindar spins complimentary etymologies to flatter his patrons. Plutarch(Life of Numa Pompilius) spins an etymology for pontifex ("bridge-builder"):

the priests, called Pontifices.... have the name of Pontifices from potens, powerful, because they attend the service of the gods, who have power and command over all. Others make the word refer to exceptions of impossible cases; the priests were to perform all the duties possible to them; if any thing lay beyond their power, the exception was not to be cavilled at. The most common opinion is the most absurd, which derives this word from pons, and assigns the priests the title of bridge-makers. The sacrifices performed on the bridge were amongst the most sacred and ancient, and the keeping and repairing of the bridge attached, like any other public sacred office, to the priesthood.

Isidore of Seville compiled a volume of etymologies to illuminate the triumph of religion. Each saint's legend in Jacob de Voragine's Legenda Aurea begins with an etymological discourse on the saint's name:

Lucy is said of light, and light is beauty in beholding, after that S. Ambrose saith: The nature of light is such, she is gracious in beholding, she spreadeth over all without lying down, she passeth in going right without crooking by right long line; and it is without dilation of tarrying, and therefore it is showed the blessed Lucy hath beauty of virginity without any corruption; essence of charity without disordinate love; rightful going and devotion to God, without squaring out of the way; right long line by continual work without negligence of slothful tarrying. In Lucy is said, the way of light.

Etymology in the modern sense emerged in the late 18th-century European academia, within the context of the wider "Age of Enlightenment," although preceded by 17th century pioneers such as Marcus Zuerius van Boxhorn, Gerardus Vossius, Stephen Skinner, Elisha Coles, and William Wotton. The first known systematic attempt to prove the relationship between two languages on the basis of similarity of grammar and lexicon was made in 1770 by the Hungarian, János Sajnovics, when he attempted to demonstrate the relationship between Sami and Hungarian (work that was later extended to the whole Finno-Ugric language family in 1799 by his fellow countryman, Samuel Gyarmathi).

The origin of modern historical linguistics is often traced back to Sir William Jones, a Welsh philologist living in India, who in 1782 observed the genetic relationship betweenSanskrit, Greek and Latin. Jones published his The Sanscrit Language in 1786, laying the foundation for the field of Indo-European linguistics. The study of etymology in Germanic philology was introduced by Rasmus Christian Rask in the early 19th century and elevated to a high standard with the German Dictionary of the Brothers Grimm. The successes of the comparative approach culminated in the Neogrammarian school of the late 19th century. Still in the 19th century, the philosopherFriedrich Nietzsche used etymological strategies (principally and most famously in On the Genealogy of Morals, but also elsewhere) to argue that moral values have definite historical (specifically, cultural) origins where modulations in meaning regarding certain concepts (such as "good" and "evil") show how these ideas had changed over time—according to which value-system appropriated them. This strategy gained popularity in the 20th century, and philosophers, such as Jacques Derrida, have used etymologies to indicate former meanings of words to de-center the "violent hierarchies" of Western philosophy


The purpose of this work is to systematize the origin of words denoting London’s places of interest. Though toponymy studies place names (habitation names and feature names). A habitation name denotes a locality that is inhabited,

 such as a homestead, village, or town. Feature names refer to natural 

features of the landscape and are subdivided into hydronyms (water features),

 oronyms (relief features), and places of natural vegetationgrowth (meadows, 

glades, groves).

The name of the city “London” takes its origin from an older roman name “Londinium”. But there are many opinions on the etymology of the word.
Here are the most popular theories:

- latin origin, from the word Lond, which means «Wild forested place»;
- celtic origin, consisting of two words:
 Llyn (lake) и Dun (fortification): in celtic period the town was called Llyndid;
- from an ancient European word
 Plowonida, which means «Overflowing river».
One more unofficial name of the city — «The Great Wen». There is no equivalent of the word
 Wen, which means “overpopulated city”.

The origin of the nickname Big Ben is the subject of some debate. The nickname was applied first to the Great Bell; it may have been named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw the installation of the Great Bell, or after boxing's English Heavyweight Champion Benjamin Caunt.[1][30][32] Now Big Ben is often used, by extension, to refer to the clock, the tower and the bell collectively, although the nickname is not universally accepted as referring to the clock and tower. Some authors of works about the tower, clock and bell sidestep the issue by using the words Big Ben first in the title, then going on to clarify that the subject of the book is the clock and tower as well as the bell.[45][46]

There are different theories about how the bell actually came to be named. At almost 16 tonnes, it would have appeared colossal and it is believed to have been inscribed with the name of "Sir Benjamin Hall MP Chief Commissioner of Works". (Sir Benjamin did a lot to smooth relations between the clockmaker and the architect during difficult times and furthered the progress of the clock.)

It has been suggested that some of the workmen responsible for testing the bell were very  impressed with its great size and on seeing the name Benjamin on the inscription, decided to call it Big Ben.

The inscription of the present, second Big Ben bell (the first one cracked) does not show the name of Benjamin Hall - by the time it was cast he was no longer Chief Commissioner.

Piccadilly was also named around this time: the word comes from the piccadill, a wide, decorated collar that was sufficiently popular to make the fortune of a tailor called Robert Baker. When he built himself an impressive residence hereabouts it was promptly dubbed Piccadilly House, presumably by people who thought he was getting above himself. Piccadilly, only being a street, is not mentioned by the Oxford dictionary of place names. According to the London Encyclopaedia it does indeed come from the sale of 'picadils' which were 'a kinde of stiff collar' then in vogue at the Court. Robert Baker had a shop down the street from where he sold these collars and he made a fortune. He used the money to buy some land, where Piccadilly Circus now stands. On the east side of the street he built himself a grand hall which was nicknamed Piccadilly Hall by the populous in derision to the source of his wealth.

The Thames, from Middle English Temese, is derived from the Celtic name for the river, Tamesas (from *tamēssa), recorded in Latin as Tamesis and yielding modern Welsh Tafwys "Thames". The name probably meant "dark" and can be compared to other cognates such as Russian темно (Proto-Slavic *tьmьnъ), Sanskrit tamas, Irish teimheal and Welsh tywyll "darkness" (Proto-Celtic *temeslos) and Middle Irish teimen "dark grey", though Richard Coates mentions other theories: Kenneth Jackson's that it is non Indo-European (and of unknown meaning), and Peter Kitson's that it is Indo-European but pre-Celtic and has a name indicating "muddiness" from a root *tā-, 'melt'.

Note also other river names such as Teme, Tavy, Teviot, Teifi (cf Tafwys).

The river's name has always been pronounced with a simple t /t/; the Middle English spelling was typically Temese and Celtic Tamesis. A similar spelling from this era (1210 AD), "Tamisiam", is found in the Magna Carta. The th spelling lends an air of Greek to the name and was added during the Renaissance,[citation needed] possibly to reflect or support a claim that the name was derived from River Thyamis in the Epirus region of Greece, whence early Celtic tribes were wrongly thought to have migrated to Britain.

Indirect evidence for the antiquity of the name 'Thames' is provided by a Roman potsherd found at Oxford, bearing the inscription Tamesubugus fecit (Tamesubugus made this). It is believed that Tamesubugus' name was derived from that of the river.[8]

The Thames through Oxford is sometimes given the name the River Isis. Historically, and especially in Victorian times, gazetteers and cartographers insisted that the entire river was correctly named the River Isis from its source down to Dorchester-on-Thames, and that only from this point, where the river meets the River Thame and becomes the "Thame-isis" (supposedly subsequently abbreviated to Thames) should it be so called. Ordnance Survey maps still label the Thames as "River Thames or Isis" down to Dorchester. However, since the early 20th century this distinction has been lost in common usage outside of Oxford, and some historians suggest the name Isis is nothing more than a truncation of Tamesis, the Latin name for the Thames.


From Medieval Latin parlamentum and its sources, Anglo-Norman and Old French parlement (discussion, meeting, assembly, council), from parler (to speak), and -ment, from Latin -mentum.

Downing Street

One of the most famous streets in the world, for over three hundred years it has been the home of some of the most powerful leaders in Britain. Its name comes from the man who built it, Sir George Downing, who was politically savvy enough to have worked under both Oliver Cromwell and King Charles II. He built up townhouses along the street in the 1680s and over the centuries, the homes kept being bought up by the government and transformed into official residences and government offices.

More than a thousand years ago, well-off Anglo-Saxons living by the site of present-day Downing Street built a small church on nearby Thorney island.

Being located to the west of Anglo-Saxon Lundenwic, Thorney's church became known as 'west minster'.


Is the cape on the southwest coast of Spain, site of the Battle of Trafalgar between British and French forces in 1805


n. 1 bell-tower, campanile, minaret, pagoda, obelisk; belfry, spire, turret, steeple, flèche There was a time when the church tower was the tallest building in the town 2 fortress, citadel, stronghold, castle, fastness; keep, dungeon, prison The princess was imprisoned in the tower for a year and a day

v. 3 Often, tower over or above. loom, soar, rise, ascend, rear These ugly high-rise buildings tower over everything, blocking out the sun

Etymology: Middle English citie, from Old French cité, from Latin civitat-, civitas, from civis citizen + -itat-, -itas -ity — more at home

1. archaic : an inhabited place : hamlet , village

2. a. : a large or important incorporated town or borough in Great Britain holding a royal charter and usually being the seat of an episcopacy — a title bearing traditional and honorary significance but not specific legal significance

b. : a populous place : a place larger than a village or town : a large, prominent, or important center of population


1.A large church together with a group of buildings in which monks or nuns live or lived in the past :

Middle English : from Old French abbeie , from medieval Latin abbatia abbacy, from abbas , abbat- , from Greek abbas father, from Aramaic 'abbā .


1.Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary, 2005

2.Oxford thesaurus English vocabulary, 2012

3. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008

4.Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged, 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


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В данной проектной работе впервые сделана попытка исследования этимологии названий достопримечательностей Лондона. В учебниках по английскому языку большое внимание уделяется странам , где английский язык является родным, в частности Великобритании. Большой раздел отводится Лондону.

Знание истории происхождения того или иного географического объекта делает изучение иностранного языка увлекательным и интересным.

Данная проектная работа стала победителем в региональной научной конференции "Наука для всех", посвящённой 70-летию победы в Великой Отечественной Войне.

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