Did you know that “tween” comes from The Hobbit or that “cyberspace” first appeared in a 80s William Gibson novel? This infographic lists 15 common words that you might be surprised to know come from literature.

15 Words You Never Knew Came from Literature

(h/t Visual.ly)

16 Responses

  1. Anežka Kozlovská

    Sooooo, to be clear, my dear English-speaking friends: Karel Čapek is simply Karel Čapek. Period. And although he wrote R. U. R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), it doesn’t make him “Karel Čapek Rossum”!!! -_- And when citing “robotník”, please make sure you do not forget that acute accent. Otherwise, it is not a Czech word, but a Polish one.

  2. Will

    The word “babbitt,” from the novel Babbitt (1922) by Sinclair Lewis. The name of the novel’s main character has come to mean a person, especially a businessperson, who is conformist, bourgeois, materialistic, and philistine. Also “chortle” from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass (1871), meaning to laugh in amusement; probably a blend of chuckle and snort.


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