About & Contact

Useless Etymology is a collection of editorialized word histories released in no particular order by Jess Zafarris. It’s possible you’ve read some of my work over on Reddit’s /r/etymology subreddit, the community that encouraged me to create this website, or on Twitter.

The posts vary in length and style, but many include gifs and images of questionable quality.

My usual hard sources are as follows, with inspiration from the Online Etymological Dictionary.

  • The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology
  • Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins (Oxford Quick Reference) by Cresswell, Julia
  • Etymological Dictionary of Modern English by Ernest Weekley
  • The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology, 1st Edition by Robert K. Barnhart
  • Dictionary of Word Origins: The Histories of More Than 8,000 English-Language Words by John Ayto
  • The Dictionary of American Slang, Subsequent Edition by Robert L. Chapman

Note: I first published many of these writeups on Reddit’s Etymology Subreddit, but they are, in fact, my original work.

Find me on Twitter at @UselessEty, or use the contact form below.