Why Do We Have 'Burgle' and 'Burglarize' in the English Language?

Uncover the etymology of 'burglarize' and 'burgle' and how they fit into English language verb formation.

Why Do We Have 'Burgle' and 'Burglarize' in the English Language?

If you've ever wondered about the curious linguistic existence of 'burglarize' and 'burgle,' you're not alone.

Let's delve into the etymological evolution of these terms and their significance in the English language.


Both 'burglarize' and 'burgle' originated in the 19th century, long after the introduction of 'burglar' and 'burglary' from French.

The term burglary was well-established when the verb burglarize emerged.

It was an intuitive linguistic move to verbify 'burglar.'

The Fallacy of 'Burglarize'

While 'burglarize' may have piqued curiosity, it lacks practical usage in modern language.

The prevalence of 'burgle' makes 'burglarize' redundant, raising questions about the necessity of the term.

'Burglarize' and Crime

The existence of 'burglarize' prompts speculation about the concept of a 'burglariser' or a crime known as 'burglarisation.' Such implications raise eyebrows about the necessity of 'burglarize' in the lexicon.

Linguistic Puzzles

Delving into the etymology of 'burglarize' and 'burgle' reveals broader linguistic puzzles.

This inquiry sparks wonder about the consistency and idiosyncrasies of verb formation and derivation in the English language, as well as the impact of historical linguistic trends on modern usage.

An Enigmatic Conclusion

In conclusion, the enigmatic coexistence of 'burglarize' and 'burgle' in the English language remains an intriguing linguistic quirk.

It serves as a thought-provoking example of the complex and ever-evolving nature of language.