I'm a big fan of the study of flags, which is known as vexillology. The word for this field comes from the Latin word vexillum, which means "flag", and, obviously, -ology, which is the study of anything. Vexillum has a particularly interesting etymology. It comes from vellum, which meant "sail", the thing on ships. It's really not that much of a stretch to get to "flag" from there, but it's more so from the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction weg, from whence it came. This meant "to weave a web" specifically. Because of a w to v switch from Latin to English, this root gave us a lot of our v words, including vigilant, surveillance, vigil, and bivouac. In fact, our word veil comes from vellum, which we examined earlier, making a face covering the closest relative to the scientific study of flags. And don't get me started on the origins of specific vexillology terminology...
Adam Aleksic is a 221-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