[ CNRTL : ] Du lat[in] vulg[aire] *hinc ha (c) hora ou *hinc ad horam;
la forme a[ncienne] fr[ançaise] uncore, oncore est due à l'infl[uence] de onque, onc*.
This thread redirects you to the elongations of the the abbreviations used above.

[ Etymonline : ]   [...]  French encore "[3.] still, [4.] yet, [5.] again, [6.] also, [7.] furthermore" (12c.), generally explained as being from Vulgar Latin phrase
[1.] *hinc ad horam "from then to this hour," or
[2.] (in) hanc horam "(to) this hour"  [...]

I can conceive how 1 and 2 shifted semantically to mean 3. For example, a Roman may complain about how a problem has not been resolved from then (when the problem started) to this hour: i.e. how it has STILL not been resolved.

But what underlying semantic notions connect 1-2 to 3-7?

  • «still hasn't been resolved» = «hasn't been resolved yet», and there goes 4 :).
    – MickG
    Jul 9, 2016 at 11:45
  • Btw, same question applies to "ancora" in Italian.
    – MickG
    Jul 9, 2016 at 11:46
  • Also, notice how «even better», for example, can be phrased as «better still».
    – MickG
    Jul 9, 2016 at 11:50

1 Answer 1


In Czech, we have the word "ještě" with the same three primary meanings:

1) (not) yet (ještě tu není - il n'est pas encore ici - he is still not here)

2) again (ještě jednou - encore une fois - one more time)

3) even more (je ještě větší - il est encore plus grand - he is even taller)

The underlying meaning is some sort of continuation - "he is still not here" means that the condition of the person not being here continues. "one more time" also implies continuing what happened. "Even more" again continues some sort of a scale or progression.

Actually English "yet" has fairly similar meanings too:

1) He has not come yet.

2) The workers went to the factory early and are striking yet.‎

3) K-2 is yet higher than this.‎

Of course not all of these meanings were likely to be present in the original hinc-ad-horam, however it is unlikely there was no word with similar meaning in late Latin / early French (something from Latin, e.g. usque comes to mind, preserved in French jusque < inde usque - btw. also a cognate of Czech ještě), with which the new formation become synonymous and whose other meanings it might have easily adopted.

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