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Is there an etymology Stack Exchange? Or are we meant to go from language to language site?

Suppose I'm interested in the evolution of language, which I believe neatly fits under the term "etymology". Could there not be a specific site which covers that?

Just an idea, really. I am able to use, for my own purposes, english.stackexchange.com.

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    Unluckily there is not! – user340898 Jun 22 '17 at 22:39
  • @Mr.Black there should be though? Or philosophy.stackexchange . is enough? – user3293056 Jun 22 '17 at 22:40
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    Etymological questions are dealt with in the relative language sites. – user340898 Jun 22 '17 at 22:43
  • @Mr.Blacks seems, to me, to be less than efficient. but if this has come up before, and been rubbished, already, then apologies :) – user3293056 Jun 22 '17 at 22:44
  • What exactly do you want to know? If it's the derivation of a particular word - then the specific language site (if it exists) is the place to go. – ChrisF Jun 22 '17 at 22:45
  • @ChrisF i want to know the derivations of very many words. true, i'm only interested in the history of english words. – user3293056 Jun 22 '17 at 22:46
  • I think you might need to include the question you want to ask here (or at least an outline of the question). I don't think we've got enough information to go on here. – ChrisF Jun 22 '17 at 22:47
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    You should ask here for English terms: english.stackexchange.com – user340898 Jun 22 '17 at 22:48
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    But note that at ELU you have to show that you've consulted other resources and they don't answer your question. – curiousdannii Jun 23 '17 at 1:13
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There is no single site. Apparently one was proposed, but it did not go anywhere and got deleted. There's nothing to stop you from proposing another etymology site on Area 51 (but there's no guarantee the site will actually happen either).

Some (but probably not most) etymology questions can be asked on Linguistics, as there is an etymology tag. I'm not sure what the policy is now (since everything relevant I found on their meta is old and not very highly voted), so your case may be worth bringing up there.

The best place to go will be the specific Language and Usage site, if one exists for that language. For example, questions about the etymology of English words can be asked on English Language and Usage (we also have an etymology tag). To minimize the chance of your question getting closed be sure to check Etymonline before asking.

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  • thanks for the answer. anecdotally, stackexchange in general is how i explained the internet to my grandfather, in the 90s. the past ha :) – user3293056 Jun 22 '17 at 23:10
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    Many etymology questions are very unpopular at Linguistics, I wouldn't recommend going there first. – curiousdannii Jun 23 '17 at 1:12
  • @curiousdannii is that site somewhat abandoned, or out just lacking the attention? – Ooker Jun 23 '17 at 3:32
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    @Ooker it simply has fewer active users. – NVZ Jun 23 '17 at 5:14
  • @Ooker it's plenty active, just not the right site for most etymology questions. If you've got a knotty question about the etymology of several cognate lexemes in multiple languages, then it's probably the best site. If your question is only about etymology in one language then several users, myself included, will vote to close. – curiousdannii Jun 23 '17 at 6:26
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    @curiousdannii VTC? Such question might not generate the interest in most users, but why is it off-topic? – Ooker Jun 23 '17 at 11:56
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    @Ooker My perspective is that linguistics is about the study of systems in language. The history of individual words is a fluke of, well, history. Words are borrowed across languages constantly with little rhyme or reason. If you can connect a word in with a system of borrowings or a system of meaning changes, then that makes for a good question. But if you're just after the history of a word, well that's what a good dictionary is for. – curiousdannii Jun 23 '17 at 12:26

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