This article is a treasure of anecdotes about English word/grammar origins. For example:

This article is a treasure of anecdotes about English word/grammar origins. For example:

“… we kill a cow or a pig (English) to yield beef or pork (French). Why? Well, generally in Norman England, English-speaking labourers did the slaughtering for moneyed French speakers at table. The different ways of referring to meat depended on one’s place in the scheme of things, and those class distinctions have carried down to us in discreet form today.”

h/t Dan Sugalski

https://aeon.co/essays/why-is-english-so-weirdly-different-from-other-languages