1550s, coined erroneously by German humanist Michael Neander in Greek as phraseologia (1550s), from Greek phrasis "way of speaking" (see phrase (n.)) + -logia (see -logy). The correct form would be *phrasiology. Originally "a phrase book, a collection of phrases or idioms," the meaning "way of arranging words, characteristic style of expression, form of words used in expressing some thought" is from 1660s. Related: Phraseological.
updated on May 28, 2020