I’m not sure how I’ve managed to go this long without featuring the most obvious word in the world as my Word of the Week ~ Novel ~ but it’s high time I remedy that oversight!
We’re all probably familiar with the two ways novel is used in English today–“A novel idea” and “the best sort of written work.” 😉
As it happens, that adjective use predates the noun by a good bit, coming directly from novellus, which means “new, young, recent.” It appeared in English in the 1400s, with an added sense of “unique, unusual.”
In the 1560s, the Italians began calling short stories (“new stories”) novellas, particularly when part of a larger work–specifically given first to the stories of Boccaccio. By the 1630s, novel was being used for longer works of fiction–books which had been previously been called romances.
Which will be our Word of the Week next week. 😉
And, in keeping with the theme, tonight I’ll be chatting about books I’ve been reading on Facebook Live, and I’d love to hear about your recent reading list too! Novels and non-fiction suggestions alike are welcome. =) Join me on Facebook at 7 p.m. EST!