->''"The hypothesis—which comes from the Greek words 'hypot,' meaning 'word,' and 'hesis,' meaning 'that I am looking up in the dictionary right now'..."''
-->-- '''Creator/DaveBarry'''

Do you know where the word "introduce" comes from? It comes [[TitleDrop from the Latin, Intro Ducere,]] [[SelfDemonstratingArticle meaning "to guide into"]].

As such, when you introduce you guide something into the issue being discussed, usually some new information, such as the etymology of a relevant word in that context. This happens in some works, when the etymology of words is used as a way to introduce bits of exposition, an explanation to a situation, a point or even a ReasonYouSuckSpeech. This trope shows that [[AltumVidetur the speaker is cultured, smart and - usually - in control]], as most people in a pickle don't really worry about etymology. Usually starts with "Do you know where the word 'X' comes from?" - Note that the little etymology lesson must turn out to have something to do with the matter at hand.

The examples may also be [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymological_fallacy etymological fallacies]] ("logos" is Greek for "word", which is where "logic" comes from, so logic is just toying with words) or just plain nonsensical pseudo-etymology (Did you know "shit" originated as an acronym for Ship High In Transit? [[note]][[UrbanLegend No it didn't.]][[/note]]).

Beware: it's very easy for careless people to lapse into ArtisticLicenseLinguistics with etymologies. Just because a word was historically derived from an older word doesn't necessarily make that part of the word's meaning as it's used today. (When modern English speakers say we live in a "county," we probably don't mean "an area ruled by [[UsefulNotes/KnightFever a Count]]".)

Compare TranslationWithAnAgenda and DictionaryOpening.


* Watanuki does this to a woman in ''Manga/XxxHolic'', explaining that she doesn't love Doumeki, only admires him. Admiration, from Latin, Ad - On and Mirare - being amazed. At least, that's how it goes in Portuguese. He then proceeds to explain the Japanese etymology, and proceeds to use said little etymology lesson to make his point.
* In ''Manga/BusouRenkin'' Doctor Butterfly says that the word "Carnival" comes from "cannibalism" (ItMakesSenseInContext). Creator/NobuhiroWatsuki said in the liner notes of the tankoubon that this was a goof on his part ("carnival" is indeed cognate to Latin ''carnem'', "meat", but the linkage actually comes from abstention from meat for Lent) and said to call it Butterfly's mistake InUniverse.
* ''Literature/FromTheNewWorld'' in its anime adaptation, episode 25, Saki and Satoru are discussing about the bakenezumi's origin, erroneously interpreting a similarity between naked mole-rat's scientific name (Heterocephalus glaber) and human being's scientific name (homo sapiens). While Greek element "hetero" (meaning ''different'' or ''other'') in ''Heterocephalus'' is the opposite of Greek element "homos" (meaning ''same'') this element is not the one used in "''homo'' sapiens", which came from Latin element "homo" (meaning ''human'').

* The father in ''Film/MyBigFatGreekWedding'' frequently claims that he can show the Greek root of any word. [[CulturalPosturing He's actually making most of it up]].
-->'''Toula's Friend''': Alright, Mr. Portokalos: "kimono".\\
'''Gus''': ''[thinks for a moment]'' "Kimono"... that come from the Greek word "κρύωμα", which means "cold". What do you wear when you are cold? A robe! [[InsaneTrollLogic So, kimono, robe, there you go!]]
* Several times in ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe'', new villain Vector explains the origin of his name, neatly combining this trope with DontExplainTheJoke:
-->'''Vector''': I go by Vector. It's a mathematical term, represented by an arrow with both direction and magnitude. Vector! That's me, because I commit crimes with both direction and magnitude. Oh yeah!
* In ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice'', when Comicbook/LexLuthor is introduced as a "philanthropist" as he's about to give a speech at a charity gala he's hosting, he begins his speech by pointing out that philanthropist is a greek word meaning a "a lover of humanity".
* In ''Film/MalcolmX'', Malcolm uses this to explain his feelings towards Elijah Muhammad, who had saved his life (in narration lifted directly from his Autobiography).
--> My adoration of Mr. Muhammad grew, in the sense of the Latin root word adorare. It means much more than our "adoration" or "adore." It means that my worship of him was so awesome that he was the first man whom I had ever feared -- not fear such as of a man with a gun, but the fear such as one has of the power of the sun.
* In ''Film/JurassicPark'', Dr. Grant starts describing velociraptors, mentioning their birdlike qualities. He declares that "Even the word "raptor" means bird of prey!" That is true.... but only in English. The "raptor" in "velociraptor" is a latin word meaning "seizer or "thief" (it just happened to evolve into the meaning "bird of prey" in English somewhere down the line) and velociraptor was so named probably because the scientists describing it thought that they raided nests, stealing eggs and hatchlings. Velociraptors 'are' very birdlike, but their naming is just a coincidence.

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series:
** ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'':
---> Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder. Elves are marvelous. They cause marvels. Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies. Elves are glamorous. They project glamour. Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment. Elves are terrific. They beget terror. The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes, look behind words that have changed their meaning. No one ever said elves are ''nice''. Elves are ''bad.''
** In ''Discworld/MenAtArms'', Carrot points out that, as a policeman -- from ''polis'', city -- he is a man of the city. Later, when Carrot brings this up to the city's ruler, Lord Vetinari, Vetinari responds by pointing out that "politician" has the same root.
** In ''Discworld/NightWatch'', Carrot also informs Vimes that the word "copper" does not come from the fact that the Watch badge is made of copper, but from ''coppere'', which means "to capture".
** In ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'', we get a dodgy etymology of "teleport": "It comes from ''tele'', meaning 'I see,' and 'porte,' meaning 'to go,' the whole meaning 'I see it's gone.' [[labelnote:*]]It actually derives from "tele" = "far", and "port" meaning "door". Thus, a door to a faraway place. [[/labelnote]]
** ''Discworld/SoulMusic'' has a semi-accurate etymology of "wizard". Susan reflects that the word derives from "wise", which is true - but the [[FootnoteFever accompanying footnote]] claims "From the Old wys-ars: lit. one who, at the bottom, is very smart.
** In ''Discworld/TheTruth'', Otto comments that another word for [[MagicalCamera iconographer]] might be "photographer", based on the Latatian word "photos", which means "[[TranslationYes to prance about like a pillock ordering people around as if you own the place]]", although the rest of the conversation is based on it meaning "light" (Otto has invented "obscurography", where he takes pictures with darkness).
* Creator/DaveBarry has a tendency to do this in some of his works.
** Several examples from his columns:
--->"Perspective" is derived from two ancient Greek words: "persp," meaning "something bad that happens to somebody else," and "ective," meaning "ideally somebody like UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump."\\
The very word "insect" is a combination of two ancient Greek words: "in," meaning "a," and "sect," meaning "repulsive little creature."\\
The hypothesis—which comes from the Greek words "hypot," meaning "word," and "hesis," meaning "that I am looking up in the dictionary right now"...
** In the column "Say Uncle," he states that, as a senior at Pleasantville High School, his math teacher Mr. Solin attempted to instruct him in calculus, which derives "from the ancient Greek words ''calc'', meaning 'the study of,' and ''ulus'', meaning "something that only Mr. Solin could understand."
** In ''Dave Barry's Guide to Guys'', he explains the following:
--->Guys contain stuff called "testosterone" - from the Latin "testo," (meaning "stuff") and "sterone" ("that guys contain").
** ''Dave Barry's Guide to Marriage and/or Sex'' claims that astrology must be "very scientific" because the word "comes from the Greek or possibly Latin words 'astro' and 'ology.'"
** ''Literature/DaveBarrySleptHere'' notes that "ultimatum" comes "from the Latin, meaning 'a kind of thing that a person issues.'"
* In the ''Literature/MerryGentry'' series, the [[AsYouKnow narrator's monologue]] often explains the Gaelic origins of certain words, and connects their modern, metaphorical meaning to the ancient, literal meaning used by [[TheFairFolk the fey]] in the story. For instance, "slogan" is a corruption of "slaugh-gairn," so called because Celtic war cries were a kind of incantation, calling on the faerie slaugh to help them. She also describes an actress as "glamorous" as a way of pointing out that her faerie power and her fame are synergistic.
* ''Literature/{{Dinotopia}}'': Lee Crabb points out that "Dinotopia" may be a portmanteau of "dinosaur utopia", but its direct translation from the original Greek is "terrible place", reflecting his low opinion of the place. (As a GeniusBonus, he's right, but the old meaning of "terrible" means something like "fearfully great" or "awe-inspiring" as opposed to the modern meaning of "really bad"; this older meaning is an accurate description of Dinotopia while undermining Crabb's point.)
* CausticCritic George Jean Nathan invented two derisive joke etymologies for "vaudeville":
-->French: "Va" (go) + "de" (to) + "vil" (something low).
-->German: "Wo" (where) + "der" (is the) + "Will" (sense)?
* In Max Shulman's ''Barefoot Boy with Cheek'', the author's note explains that "Minnesota" is a meaningless combination of the only two Indian words he knows: "'Minne' meaning a place where four spavined men and a minor woman ate underdone pemmican, and 'sota' meaning the day the bison got away because the hunter's wife blunted his arrows in a fit of pique."
* ''Literature/TheDevilsDictionary'' makes a few jokes of this type:
** "Tedium" is alleged to derive "from a very obvious source--the first words of the ancient Latin hymn ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Te_Deum Te Deum Laudamus]]''. In this apparently natural derivation there is something that saddens."
** "Tadpole," as mentioned in the [[KrakenAndLeviathan "Leviathan"]] entry, is implied to be derived from its Latin name, ''Thaddeus polandensis'' (Thaddeus of Poland).
* In ''Literature/GulliversTravels'', Gulliver says that he "could never learn the true etymology" of the name of the floating island of Laputa. He rejects one derivation from "''Lap'', in the old obsolete language, signifies high; and ''untuh'', a governor," and proposes his own hypothesis that "Laputa was ''quasi Lap outed''; ''lap'' signifying properly the dancing of the sunbeams in the sea, and ''outed'', a wing; which, however, I shall not obtrude, but submit to the judicious reader." Even more judicious is Swift's failure to suggest the obvious Spanish transliteration.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' creator Scott Adams jokes in one of his business book parodies that [[AssPull the word "analysis" comes from the root word "anal", and the suffix "-ysis", meaning "to pull numbers from"]].

* ''Series/{{Bones}}'': The VictimOfTheWeek was a guy who seemed to really be SantaClaus. This gives them another opportunity to bicker LikeAnOldMarriedCouple. Booth's remark isn't quite FromTheLatinIntroDucere, but Brennan's correction is.
-->'''Brennan:''' Kriss Kringle. From the North Pole. Lives above a toy store - This is further evidence that our victim, is indeed, the mythic figure known as Santa Claus.\\
'''Booth:''' '''Mythic'''. Coming from the Latin, "Myth", meaning "doesn't actually exist."\\
'''Brennan:''' No. From the Greek, "Mythos", meaning "word."
* ''Series/{{CSI}}'' had one when Grissom investigated the death of a man who had Down's syndrome. After catching the murderer, Grissom calls back to an earlier conversation where the murderer called the victim a "retard" (Grissom corrected him, of course) and informs him that "retard" means "to hinder", so the killer's life "just got retarded".
* In ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', River comments on Mal's name, saying "Mal. Bad. [[AltumVidetur In the Latin.]]"
** And, in fact, gets it wrong. In Mal Reynolds' case, "Mal" is short for "Malcolm", a Scottish name meaning "Follower of St. Columba." Unless it should be taken to simply mean that Mal [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold isn't as bad as he presents himself to be.]]
* Fletcher in ''Series/{{Porridge}}'' averts it for humorous effect in this exchange with Warden Barrowclough:
--> '''Fletcher:''' If you want to do something for us, give us more freedom, better grub, conjugal visits.
--> '''Mr. Barrowclough:''' What?
--> '''Fletcher:''' Conjugals. From the Latin "conjugari", meaning [[UnusualEuphemism "to have it away"]].
* ''Series/ThePunisher'': Frank's sidekick makes a point by claiming that the name of Cerberus, the canine guardian of the Greek underworld, comes from the Greek word for "spotted," meaning that the [[FluffyTheTerrible hellhound's original name was Spot]]. This is actually a real hypothesis of where the name comes from, but it is only one of several guesses, and there is no academic consensus on the name's origin.

* The liner notes to the Music/PDQBach recording ''Oedipus Tex & Other Choral Calamities'' make the parenthetical claim that the name "Alamo" comes from the French, meaning "in the style of one of Film/TheThreeStooges."

* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSf8Vah8Y_Y This exchange]] between Max and Tycho in ''VideoGame/PokerNightAtTheInventory'':
-->'''Tycho''': Do you know the etymology of the word "flop"?\\
'''Max''': Nope!\\
'''Tycho''': In the early 1600s, [[SophisticatedAsHell it was when the King would take a shit on a peasant]]. I fold.
* From ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'':
-->'''Viridi:''' I wish I had an angel to do my bidding. It's like having an intern.\\
'''Pit:''' I'm not an intern. I'm a messenger of the gods!\\
'''Viridi:''' Poor Pit. Don't you know that the definition of angel is "errand spirit"?\\
'''Pit:''' That's a lie. Right, Lady Palutena? I'm not your personal assistant.\\
'''Palutena:''' ...I could use a coffee.\\
'''Pit:''' [[HypocriticalHumor Sure thing. Cream and two sugars, right?]]

* In the first ''WebAnimation/{{Mameshiba}}'' video, Green Pea, the trivia is that the French word for dandelion, "pissenlit", means "urinate in bed".

* ''ComicStrip/{{xkcd}}'' strip 1319, "[[http://xkcd.com/1319/ Automation]]", which demonstrates the futility of automating software tasks, claims that "automating" comes from the roots "auto-" (self) and "mating" (screwing).
** [[http://xkcd.com/1012/ Another strip]] involves a StealthPun when the wrong superhero shows up to foil an attack of giant insects...

* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'' Krieger is discussing replacing Ray's paralyzed legs with mechanical ones. Ray refers to them as "robotic legs", but Krieger says that it's not robotics, it's ''bionics'', "From the Greek, for like--'kick-ass'!" Ray asks him if there's a Greek word for "insane".

* Teachers tend to do this to make a subject stick.
* A joke: Do you know where the word "Politics" comes from? "Poly-", meaning "Many" and "-tics" meaning "Bloodsucking parasites."
* Another joke: "Ex" means "former" and a spurt is a drip under pressure. So an "expert" is a "former drip under pressure".
* Creator/JackHandey:
-->"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself. Basically, it's made up of two separate words — 'mank' and 'ind.' What do these words mean? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind."
* Often used by preachers, especially when explaining complicated words in Literature/TheBible. (Usually justified since the New Testament was originally written in Greek, after all.)
* Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, gave us the following case of etymological fallacy:
--->"Divide the name {{Adam|AndEvePlot}} into two syllables, and it reads, ''a dam'', or obstruction... it stands for obstruction, error, even the supposed separation of man from God."
** "Adam" is actually derived from the Hebrew ''Adama'' (sorry, ''[[Series/BattlestarGalactica2003 Galactica]]'' fans, emphasis on the last syllable) meaning "earth" or "soil" (because, you know, [[Literature/BookOfGenesis Adam was made from earth/soil]]...). There are a bunch of Hebrew puns and JustSoStory s in the old testament that really don't work well in translation or without their cultural background.
* A totally serious conspiracy theory claimed that "lightning fall from heaven" (in reference to [[Literature/TheBible Luke 10:18]], written as "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" in the King James Version) in Hebrew (as Jesus spoke) was ''baraq u bamah'', i.e. UsefulNotes/BarackObama, and this was a prophecy that Obama was TheAntichrist - "I beheld Satan as Barack Obama". It's wrong on two counts: 1. Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Hebrew, and 2. even if he did speak Hebrew, the phrase [[https://askdrbrown.org/library/contrary-popular-claims-jesus-did-not-prophesy-about-barack-obama they're claiming he would have said]] is [[MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels complete gibberish]].