Anatoly Liberman is a professor in the Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches courses in linguistics, etymology, and folklore. Liberman is a native of St. Petersburg, Russia. His main graduate works, written under the auspices of the philologist Mikhail Steblin-Kamensky, focused on Middle English and Icelandic phonetics. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1975.
Liberman has written and edited several books and has produced hundreds of smaller works, most of them aimed at a scholarly audience. He wrote Germanic Accentology and translated and edited Writings on Literature by Nikolai Trubetzkoy, Mikhail Lermontov: Major Poetical Works, and On the Heights of Creation: The Lyrics of Fedor Tyutchev. His articles include "The Phonetic Organization of Early Germanic" and "Gone with the Wind: More Thoughts on Medieval Farting".
Liberman's primary interest has been the history of English words. In 2005, he published a popular book for lay readers entitled Word Origins... and How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone. After several years' work, his An Analytic Dictionary of English Etymology was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2008. He has also collected more than 20,000 articles for A Bibliography of English Etymology.