Lexicology — Билет 6

Etymological Background of the English Vocabulary. Words of Native Origin. 

Many peculiarities of the English word-stock may be explained by its etymological diversity.

There are two layers of the modern English Vocabulary:

  1. Native words.
  2. Borrowed (loan) words


A native word – only relatively started with the English literature tradition (VIII


Native words

  1. Indo-European
  2. Family relation: father, mother, brother, son
  3. Parts of human body: foot, nose, lip, heart
  4. Animals: cow, swine, goose.
  5. Plants: tree, birch, corn
  6. Time of day: day, night
  7. Heavenly bodies: sun, moon, star.
  8. Numerous adjectives: red, new, glad, sad, hard, quick, slow
  9. The numerals from one to a hundred, 1000
  10. Some pronoun: personal (we, our); demonstrative
  11. Verbs denoting the most important actions: be, stand, sit, eat, know, bear.
  12. Common Germanic Origin
  13. Natural phenomena: rain, frost
  14. Seasons of the year: winter, spring, summer
  15. Landscape features: sea, land
  16. Human dwelling, furniture and clothes: house, room, bench, hat skirt
  17. Sea-going vessels: boats, ship
  18. Adjectives: green, blue, grey, small, thick, high, old, good
  19. Verbs: see, hear, speak, bake, give
  20. Mineral recourses: ore, coal, iron, led
  21. Abstract nouns: scare, hope, life, need
  22. Pronouns: possessive, personal (I, they, them, their)


Native words are only 500 words in the language, but they comprise the basic vocabulary.

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