Remember, for etymology books, check the next page. The word book can be traced back to Proto-Germanic, where it was bokiz, literally meaning "beech tree". It's not because of the common misconception that since wood is used to make paper, surprisingly. Nope, it's much more convoluted. Etymologists and historians alike speculate that this was simply because ancient people carved writings directly onto tree trunks; actual books didn't pop up until much later. Before the actual "book" came to England, the word boc did, meaning "collection of writings", and it wasn't much of a step after the printing press arrived to refer to a book with its current definition. At this point, the book had traveled in a full circle, from carvings on wood to writings on former wood, with no connection at all. Both Latin and Sanskrit also share a connection between their words for "writing" and a type of tree, again displaying the curious correlation of those two words.
Adam Aleksic is a 220-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard University in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd