#linguistics #etymology #cli

bin+lib etym

Queries EtymOnline.com to look up etymologies for words

3 releases

0.0.7 Mar 10, 2023
0.0.6 Dec 10, 2022
0.0.5 Jul 6, 2022

#1860 in Command line utilities

MIT license

121 lines


Single, statically-linked binary to query EtymOnline from the command line. It formats the output nicely, using bold for keywords and italic for foreign words.


First, make sure you have Rust installed. Then:

cargo install --force etym

You can also build a deb package locally:

git clone https://github.com/conorsch/etym
cd etym
cargo deb

The package will be available at target/debian/*.deb.


$ etym viking
Viking (n.)
Scandinavian pirate, 1801, vikingr, in "The History of the Anglo-Saxons"
by English historian Sharon H. Turner (1768-1847); he suggested the second element
might be connected to king: The name by which the pirates were at first
distinguished was Vikingr, which perhaps originally meant kings of the bays.
It was in bays that they ambushed, to dart upon the passing voyager. But this
later was dismissed as incorrect. The form viking is attested in 1820,
in Jamieson's notes to "The Bruce." The word is a historians' revival; it was
not used in Middle English, but it was reintroduced from Old Norse vikingr
"freebooter, sea-rover, pirate, viking," which usually is explained as meaning
properly "one who came from the fjords," from vik "creek, inlet, small bay"
(cf. Old English wic, Middle High German wich "bay," and second
 element in Reykjavik). But Old English wicing and Old Frisian wizing
are almost 300 years older than the earliest attestation of the Old Norse word,
and probably derive from wic "village, camp" (large temporary camps were
a feature of the Viking raids), related to Latin vicus "village, habitation" (see villa).
The connection between the Norse and Old English words is still much debated.
The period of Viking activity was roughly 8c. to 11c. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,
the raiding armies generally were referred to as þa Deniscan "the Danes," while
those who settled in England were identified by their place of settlement.
Old Norse viking (n.) meant "freebooting voyage, piracy;" one would
"go on a viking" ( fara í viking).


  • Assumes Linux, but should be easy enough to build for other targets
  • Requires the Rust toolchain to build.




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