If you wear leather to a movie, you have no idea how etymologically appropriate that is. Turns out the word film has skin-centered origins, starting with its original definition, "to cover with a film or thick skin". This was an important process in the makings of early films, so the name stuck. Going back further, the earlier verb film comes from Old English, where the word filmen meant "membrane or skin". The etymon of this curious word is the convoluted West Germanic term filminjan. This traces back to the Proto-Germanic word filminja (these last two both still meant "membrane or skin". which probably comes from Proto-Indo-European and the reconstructed word pel, meaning "animal skin or hide". The older, non-movie sense of the word film is still present in the English language, now referring to what is normally a thin strip of plastic. They should make a film about this...
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 College in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd