Word Origin & History
"people or speech of England," O.E. Englisc, from Engle (pl.) "the Angles," one of the Gmc. groups that overran the island 5c., supposedly so-called because Angul, the land they inhabited on the Jutland coast, was shaped like a fish hook (but how could they know this from the ground?). The term was used
from earliest times without distinction for all the Gmc. invaders -- Angles, Saxon, Jutes (Bede's gens Anglorum) -- and applied to their group of related languages by Alfred the Great. In pronunciation, "En-" has become "In-," but the older spelling has remained. Meaning "English language or literature as a subject at school" is from 1889.
"spin imparted to a ball" (as in billiards), 1860, from Fr. anglé "angled," which is similar to Anglais "English."