Tae = means to jump, kick or smash with the foot.
Kwon = means to punch or destroy with the hand or fist.
Do = means art, way or method.
In short Tae Kwon Do means Foot, Hand, Way.
Kwon- to punch with the fist
Do- art or way of the
In 1945 when Korea was liberated many seperate marital arts schools formed. General Choi Hong Hi (considered the father of Tae Kwon Do) started his own teaching a combination of Taekyon and Karate (Thus explaining TKD's similiarity to Karate). Many other schools taught this style but called it various names until 1955 when Choi Hong Hi submitted the name Tae Kwon Do. Tae Kwon Do encompasses many different styles of martial arts and is the most popular Korean martial art and even their national sport.
BTW, I'm a 3rd degree black belt and a Tae Kwon Do instructor, so while my knowledge of the history may be a little off, I know enough to say that anyone who says Tae Kwon Do is worthless is obviously a retarded douche bag. Also, I'm 17 and make $6.50 and hour, so I'm clearly not teaching TKD to "leech all your money away"
the true tkd, involving allso hand, knee and ellbow technics, more appropriate for the times where yo have to beat the crap out of someone while wanting to entertain your friends and impress the girls.