History in English Words, by Owen Barfield

The book is fascinating, and useful for understanding where many of our words have come from. Moreover, it makes these easier to remember by giving them in associated waves. Giving the words in waves provides Barfield an occasion to comment on the temperament of the times and the interest of the people then. In other words, he can comment on the inner considerations that go along with the outer events that also affect people. So the book provides a history of ideas and of the tendencies of civilizations. What Barfield also does, and what he really wants to do, is to show us how human awareness of ideas has changed and grown over the years. He makes fascinating and interesting points about the evolution of consciousness just by looking at English words, their sources, changes and derivations.

Usually Barfield is difficult, but this book is not so, and is as interesting as all the rest.

5 thoughts on “History in English Words, by Owen Barfield

  1. Oh, irony! I didn’t know that “gild” implied payment. Does Barfield have anything to say about that in this book?

  2. Perhaps he doesn’t. Maybe rune needn’t imply poetry, but I was associating it with were-gild, which I believe was mentioned, though many things were mentioned.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s