HomeCornucopia • Word Formation 3go • wind • wand(er)


  • begone, bygone(s), churchgoer, churchgoing, cinema-goer, concertgoer, easy-going, film-goer, forego(ing), foregone, forgo, get(-up-and)-go, give-and-go, go-ahead, go-(a)round, go-bag, go-between, go-cart(ing), goer, go-faster, go-getter, go-getting, go-go, going-over, goings-on, go-juice, go-kart(ing), gone(r), gonna,  go-slow, go-to, happy-go-lucky, have-a-go, merry-go-round,  moviegoer, no-go, ocean-going, ongoing, outgoing(s), party-goer, pay-as-you-go, playgoer, racegoer, seagoing, stop(-and)-go, theatregoer, theatregoing, thoroughgoing, touch-and-go, undergo, woebegone
  • wand(er), wanderer, wanderings, wanderlust; wend
  • autowind(er), crosswind, downwind, headwind, long-winded, rewind, short-winded, sidewinder, tailwind, unwind, upwind, whirlwind, windbag, wind-blown, windbreak(er), windcheater, windchill, wind-down, winded, winder, windfall, winding(-down), windlass, windless, windmill, window(less), windowpane, window-shopping, windowsill, windpipe, winds(creen), windshield, windsock, windstorm, windsurf(er), windsurfing, windswept, wind-up, windward, windy, winnow, woodwind(s)
  • vent(ilate), ventilation, ventilator

(You can find all advanced derivatives of WIND and WAND(ER) in Cornucopia Word Formation Collection 2.)



Old English gān, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch gaan and German gehen; the form went was originally the past tense of wend. Words do not get much shorter, more common or more important than go. Go-cart was first recorded in the late 17th century when it denoted a baby walker: the first element is from the obsolete sense ‘walk’. The variant go-kart for a small racing car arose in the 1950s with kart as a deliberate alteration of cart. What goes around comes around is a modern proverb first used in the USA, although the idea was expressed in different ways much earlier. Also from the USA is when the going gets tough, the tough get going, a favourite family saying of President John F. Kennedy’s father Joseph, although it is not certain if he actually coined it. It was later used as a slogan for the 1985 film The Jewel of the Nile with a hit theme song sung by Billy Ocean. Another film-related expression is go ahead, make my day, originally uttered by Clint Eastwood’s character Harry Callaghan in Sudden Impact (1983), as he aimed his .44 Magnum gun at a gunman, daring him to shoot. The phrase was appropriated by Ronald Reagan in 1985, when the president was threatening to veto legislation raising taxes.


Old English wendan ‘to turn, depart’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German wenden, also to wind.


Old English windan ‘go rapidly’, ‘twine’, of Germanic origin; related to wander and wend. A word from an Indo-European root that also gave us Latin ventus, the source of vent (Late Middle English) and ventilate (Late Middle English). Winnowwindwian in Old English, is to use the wind to separate grain and chaff. To get wind of something comes from the idea of hunted animal picking up the scent of a hunter. The phrase wind of change was used by Harold Macmillan, British prime minister 1957–63, during a speech he made in Cape Town in 1960: ‘The wind of change is blowing through this continent, and, whether we like it or not, this growth of [African] national consciousness is a political fact.’


Window is from Old Norse vindauga, which literally meant ‘wind eye’. Before that the Anglo-Saxons words were éagthyrl and éagduru, ‘eye hole’ and ‘eye door’. Early windows would generally have been just openings in a wall, sometimes with shutters or curtains. The computing sense ‘a framed area on a screen for viewing information’ was first recorded in 1974, and in 1985 Microsoft released the first version of its Windows operating system.


Old Englishwandrian, of West Germanic origin; related to wend and wind. A word from Old Norse, and related to wend (Old English) and wind (Old English) ‘to move in a twisting way’—the basic idea seems to be of a supple, flexible stick. Wand did not have any connection with wizards and spells until about 1400, some 200 years after it was first used. Wander (Old English), ‘to move in a leisurely or aimless way’, comes from a similar root.


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