Shoebox is a journey of discovery, and the Web provides a grand adventure for those prepared to go looking. Below are some of the links I have found in my years of searching for interesting aspects, views and treasures of English, particularly from the viewpoint of an ESL teacher.
This site contains the secrets of where words came from. Be prepared, if you are a word geek like me, to be entranced for hours.
The Linguistics Research Centre at the University of Texas was very kind to prepare some fascinating material on the origins of English.
The History of English
Again, this shows how English came to be, but also shows how new words are created. Seriously interesting.