The Future Is Here
We may earn a commission from links on this page

Here Are Some Words That Seem Like They Should Be Related But Actually Aren't at All

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Did you know the words “male” and “female” aren’t actually related to each other? As in, there’s no “male” in “female.” The word male is derived from the Latin word masculus, while the word female comes from the French word femelle. It sounded close enough so we just made them both pronounced like male. Damn, patriarchy.

There are a lot of other words that seem like they would be related but they aren’t too. For example, Akira Orent breaks down how there’s no “fish” in “crayfish” (which comes from the French word ecrevisse), no “hang” in “hangnail” (that came from Old English’s Ang-, which meant painful), and no “house” in “penthouse” (that came from pentiz, the Anglo-Norman word for an appendage to a main building). Don’t they all sound like they should be related? Language is funny.


There’s much more in the video below, so whoa that brain a bit with some words that you thought were related, but aren’t after all.