It recently occurred to me that rigor is both a noun ("stiffness") and a verb form ("I am moistened"). Are there other similar examples of pairs in Latin with a noun and a passive verb form ending in -or but being unrelated?

By "unrelated" I mean that there should at least be no immediate connection between the two words within Latin, ruling out examples like amor. If Wiktionary is to be trusted, the two rigors might come from the same PIE root but they are not derived from the same word in Latin, their meanings are quite different, and they seem come from different PIt verbs. Let me know if the intention is not clear enough.

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    It doesn't really fit because the passive form doesn't end in -or, so I won't post it as an answer, but I was recently reminded that meminī 'to remember' and memoria 'memory' — and the adjective memor — are probably unrelated, with the former continuing *men- and the latter *mer-. (De Vaan and a few other people disagree and derive memoria from *men- as well, for reasons that aren't entirely unconvincing.)
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented May 18 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


You'll have a field day with minor. The adjective (the comparative form of parvus) is related to minuo, and ultimately comes from the PIE *moih1-uo-, "small, little."

Meanwhile, there's the verb minor, minari, "to threaten," which comes from minae, "threats; protruding parts of a wall."

There's also the active mino, minare (a collateral form of minor, minari), meaning "to drive [animals]", and a passive form of that in the first person would also be minor.

All of these ultimately from PIE *m(e)n-eh1-, "to stick out."

Unrelated to the previous two roots, there's also the Medieval Latin mino, minare/mineare, a verb meaning "dig, mine [for minerals]". It seems there's often an -e- placed in the stem, but the dictionary does also give minare, so theoretically you could have minor, "I am mined."

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    Do the third and fourth senses have separate PIE ancestors? Or is there convergence?
    – brianpck
    Commented May 18 at 18:44
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    @brianpck minor (to threaten) and mino (to drive) are really the same word, depending on how you define "word." But mino (to mine) is completely different and comes from Gaulish, if Wiktionary is to be believed.
    – cmw
    Commented May 18 at 19:35

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