Etymology makes it possible to better understand the origins and meanings of words.
It is important to have an understanding of etymology in order to understand the naming of insects during one's study of entomology.
An etymologist is someone who knows the difference between etymology and entomology.
2. Tracing the transmissions of words from one language to another and identifying their relationships in other languages, and reconstructing their ancestral forms when possible: The English language has borrowed many roots from Greek and Latin; so, one important aspect of historical linguistics involves the etymology of words that come from those classical languages as well as some other contributing sources; such as, French, German, Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, Indo-European, etc.
Through old texts and comparisons with other languages, etymology is an effort to reconstruct the history of words; when they entered a language, from what sources, and how their forms and meanings have changed.
2. A modification of a linguistic form according either to a falsely assumed etymology, or to a historically irrelevant analogy.
2. A popular but false notion of the origin of a word.
A few humorous examples of folk etymology
The word woman is derived from woe- + man; and so, "a bringer of woe".
The origin of virgin, comes from vir, Latin for "man", and gin, "a trap" and so a virgin is "a mantrap" or a "trapper of men".