The English language is multifaceted and ever-changing, and that reflects in the word English. When it first appeared in the English language, it was the word Aenglisc, "of the Angle tribe", an important Germanic group of people. Since then, it has altered an insane amount of times, going through phases where it was Englisc, Inglis, Inglish, Englisch, and Englishe, until the spelling standardized itself in the current form around the seventeenth century. But where did Aenglisc come from? It derives from the Old English word Aengle, basically a self-appellation. The Aengle people were named as such because they came from the Angul region of Denmark, which was so named because it looked like a hook, or an "angle". This, as we found out in a previous post, is from Latin through the Proto-Indo-European word for "to bend". The suffix -isc, however (of Aenglisc, if you forgot), derives through Germanic rather that Latin, from the morpheme iska, or "of a place".
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a junior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.