"Etymologies are either obvious or wrong"

Ronald E.Emmerick emmerick at UNI-HAMBURG.DE
Wed Jan 5 07:22:54 EST 2000


"Etymologies are either obvious or wrong". This is a saying I first
heard from my former teacher in Cambridge, the late Sir Harold Bailey,
who also knew its source. I made a note of it but cannot find it. I
thought it was an American linguist but I am not sure. It has been
suggested it may be Meillet, but no one has so far been able to give me
chapter and verse. It is not in the OED.

--
Prof. Dr. Ronald E. Emmerick
Hamburg University



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