Word Etymologies

As a young man at Reed College in Oregon, Warren’s academic interests were literature and history. As a graduate student in folklore at Indiana University from 1948-53, he easily fit in with the prevalent paradigm of folklore research. In the historic-geographic method, a cultural item’s likely point of origin was identified and its dispersion mapped across both time and space. During this period, of course, the focus was folk literature. When Warren’s professional interest later turned to material culture, his fascination with verbal lore was not left behind. The study of word origins and the retention or loss of their meanings over time expanded his contextual understanding of material objects.