[vault (v.1) :]   [...] from Vulgar Latin *volvitare "to turn, leap,"
frequentative of Latin volvere "to turn, turn around, roll" (see volvox). [...]

I ask not about the meanings "turn" or "turn around" which both verbs share, but only about the meaning of "leap" that appears new to Vulgar Latin and (superficially) unconnected to the notion of to "turn, roll."

  • 1
    wikitionary suggests the "jump" sense of this word comes from middle French volter, which had a notion of “to turn or spin around; to frolic”; separately from the evolution of the noun sense of "vault" which comes from old French volte < vulgar Latin volvitare. So I'm not entirely sure that *volvitare has anything to do with jumping. But this is a comment and not an answer because I don't really know. – Calchas Feb 23 '16 at 19:04
  • 2
    It should be remembered that the frequentative suffix -(V?)t(a)- often indicates not only frequency, but also intensity. But perhaps that has nothing to do with it, as Calchas suggests. – Cerberus Feb 23 '16 at 19:19
  • La Volta ( a dance in which the male assists his partner to leap in very much the same ways as a line-out forward ) was a favourite of Elizabeth I. – Hugh Sep 6 '16 at 18:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.