Questions tagged [etymologia]

For questions about etymology: the history of words in Latin or the change in meaning as the words are loaned into another language.

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What creative pursuits can I follow using the Latin Language?

While we're stuck in quarantine I have plenty of time to create. Here's what I've tried doing so far: Helping answer easy questions on the Stack Exchange Translating songs into Latin/Writing songs in ...
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Valerius and Valentinus have the same root?

Valerius is derived from "Volesus" or "Volusus", which in turn is derived from "valere", to be strong. Valentinus is derived from "valens" meaning "healthy, strong" So "valere" comes from "valens"?
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Crocodile vs. cocodrile: where does the “r” belong?

We are all familiar with crocodiles. We know, love, and recognize them in many European languages: German: Krokodil French: crocodile Portuguese: crocodilo Russian: крокодил But perhaps it comes as ...
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Where does au-fugiō come from?

Hittite has a verbal prefix u- that indicates motion away from something. Kloekhorst connects it to Latin au-fugiō, "to flee from", saying they both come from PIE *h₂-u-. However, I'd always thought ...
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Etymology of the name Laurentius

Laurentius is a Latin name that means "From Laurentum" (a city near Rome). It is possible that the place name Laurentum is derived from the Latin laurus ("laurel"). The Greek form Λαυρέντιος (...
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Word parsing in Latin declensions

I'm trying to parse a few sets of Latin words divided into the categories: perfect participle, present participle and gerundives. I'm struggling a bit. Particularly with gerundives. For instance, in ...
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1783 Document - Dominum, Domino and Domina

I have a family document from 1783 in which an unmarried son is referred to as Dominum Conradinum (last letters of surname)...um, and the father is referred to as Domino Jacobo (last letter of surname)...
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Gender and etymology of name “Herena”

I found that Herena is the name of a Christian saint from the 3rd century. Virtually nothing is known about Herena's life, but my question is about the name: Is it a feminine name or masculine, or ...
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Could lacio and ἕλκω be related?

Would it be at all possible for Latin lacio "pull, lure" (cf. illicio, laqueus, lacesso, lacto) to be related with Greek ἕλκω "draw, pull"? Wiktionary suggests no cognates of lacio are known, so there ...
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Translation of ab and de in Greek,

How would one best translate ab and de from Latin to Greek in order to capture the different nuances? In Greek both are usually translated as από. I am trying to capture the nuances so I am using ...
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How did 'apo-' shift from signifying 'off, away' to 'because of'?

What notions underlie 'off, away' and 'because of'? ἀπό - Wiktionary Etymology From Proto-Indo-European *h₂epó (“off, away”). Preposition ᾰ̓πό • (apó) (governs the genitive) ...
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How did 'folding' semantically shift to mean 'reply'?

I seek more details and other opinions than Cerberus's answer that cited Lewis & Short on what notions underlie folding and replying. As to why folding (back) came to mean uttering (back), I ...
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Which name came first, Lucius or Λουκᾶς?

The etymology of the name Luke is commonly said to be the Latin name Lucas, itself from Lucius, from the praenomen Lucius, from the root Lux (gen. Lucis). [A separate etymology says Λουκᾶς/Λουκανός, ...
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What is the etymology of “chorāgus”?

Lewis and Short indicates that "chorāgus" is from Greek χορηγός (Doric χορᾱγός), which LSJ says is a compound of χορός and ἡγέομαι. The entries for choragus in the Oxford English Dictionary and a ...
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What is the etymology of Laches? (The Ancient Greek name.)

I'm studying Plato, but am ungreeked. Does the Ancient Greek name Laches have a known or suspected etymology? My searches have only turned up the modern legal term, related to the Latin word laxo. ...
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Did “sanctifico” ever mean “to make the sign of the cross”?

The Spanish word "santiguar" means "to make the sign of the cross". So for instance, when a Catholic enters a church, s/he "se santigua" (s/he makes the sign of the cross on her/himself). According ...
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Is “mobile (vulgus)” used to refer to a “mob”?

According to Wiktionary, the English term "mob" (as in group of people) comes from the Middle English "mobile", which comes from the Latin "mobile (vulgus)" (a moving crowd). Is this meaning attested ...
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On the origin of the name “culture” ( possible confusion between “cultura” and “cultus”)

The context of my question is a philosophical reflection on the concept of culture in the anthropological sense. The anthrological concept of "culture" dates from Tylor: culture is “that complex ...
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Why does “urgueo” exist as a variant of “urgeo”?

The rule I learned for the pronunciation of the digram "gu" before a vowel in Latin was /gw/ after "n", vs. g + vocalic u anywhere else. But I just discovered the exception urgueo /urgweoː/. This is a ...
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What did “quid pro quo” originally mean?

The phrase quid pro quo means "what for what" in Latin, but that makes very little sense to me. Wikipedia hints at the original meaning having to do with substitutions. That makes sense, as pro can ...
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Is there a tool/website to see which non-Latin words are derived from a given Latin word?

One way I use to learn Latin vocabulary is to seek for derived Spanish/English words which meaning I know. For instance, gressus derived into egresar and ingresar, Spanish words which mean to exit ("e[...
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Why was 'haemophilia' created to mean 'A constitutional (usually hereditary) tendency to bleeding'? [closed]

Is this auto-antonymy? I'm guessing so, as humans who love blood undeniably wouldn't want to lose it! If not, which type of semantic shift according to Blank's 1999 typology? OED and haemophilia - ...
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Is “ex-” (old, past) seen in Latin

I just really don't know where English ex-, as in "ex-friend" exactly came from. So far I havent seen such meaning in Latin (or Greek), but I know little. It would bolster the following idea, if there ...
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Difference between dexter/sinister and rectus/laevus?

Is there a difference between the pair dexter/sinister (right/left) and rectus/laevus? I was only aware of the pair dexter/sinister until recently, when I learned that chiral molecules in molecular ...
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Origin of “Interficere”?

I don't understand the etymology of interfacio: inter + facio. How it became "to kill"? What is the link between "to do between"?
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How could Dalmatian “anca” derive from Latin “hanc hodie”?

The semantic derivation from hanc hodie "this here day" to "also", "even" etc. does make no sense to me. The editor who added the etymology to wiki/anca and a many other languages, that share this ...
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Etymology of the adjective ‘idoneus’

All etymological dictionaries includung Wiktionary and De Vaan’s Etymological Dictionary state the ultimate origin of the Latin adjective idoneus (‘suitable’; ‘sufficient’) is unknown. I was ...
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Origins of the adjective ‘inanis’

According to Wiktionary and De Vaan’s Etymological Dictionary, the etymology of the Latin adjective inanis (‘empty’; ‘worthless’) is unknown. I was wondering if anybody had a theory on the origin of ...
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How did 'licentiare' semantically shift to mean employment dismissal?

I was researching the etymology for the French licencier, and Wiktionary refers to Latin licentiare. I can't see it exhibited in Oxford Latin Dictionary (2012 2 ed) but Latdict does. Please see the ...
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What evidence is there of a short vowel in the first syllable of “vallum”?

Two sources that I've come across indicate a long vowel /aː/ in the first syllable of the word vallum 'palisade wall' (that is, vāllum). This form is given in The Latin Language, by Charles E. ...
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Origin of “haru-” in “haruspex”

I am trying to understand better the etymon of the first part of the word haruspex. The Wiktionary entry and other sources mention «haru- (“intestines”)», but there seems to be no Latin word *haru or ...
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How did “doctor” come to mean “physician” in English?

Doctor in Latin means "teacher", with (I think) connotations of being learnèd or highly educated, as in Philosophiæ Doctor. How did it acquire its modern English meaning of a licensed physician? Owen ...
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How did 'folding' semantically shift to mean 'repeat'?

Etymonline proclaims that replicare "to repeat, reply," literally "to fold back," originates from re- "back, again" (see re-) + plicare "to fold" (from PIE root *plek- "to plait") What ...
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What is the etymology of Ἁμαδρυάς (Hamadryas)? Is the second alpha actually long?

I am trying to find more information about the formation and pronunciation of the Greek noun Ἁμαδρυάς, taken into Latin as Hamadryas. L&S transcribes the second a of the Latin form with a macron: ...
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Explanatory and Etymological dictionary of the Latin Language

With the term explanatory I am translating ερμηνευτικό. A dictionary which defines words comprehensively and clearly. If one considers Oxford University to be the authority on the English language ...
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“Renegatus”: an active perfect participle from a non-deponent verb?

Several dictionaries' etymologies of English "renegade" trace it to Medieval Latin renegatus, an apostate, one who has denied his religion and gone back to another. Renegatus in turn is the perfect ...
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What is the nature of variation between αι and α in (Pre-)Greek words?

When trying to answer a previous question about the patronymic derived from Asclepius, I came across the following quotation from Beekes in the Wikipedia entry on Asclepius: The name is typical for ...
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When a Greek word is borrowed by Latin, does it keep the same gender?

When a Greek word is borrowed by Latin, does it keep the same gender that it had in Greek? For example, a question arose about the word platysma, a muscle in the neck. It undoubtedly comes from ...
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Did the Romans ever use 'decimatio' in a generalized sense?

Decimātiō was a Roman term for a military punishment where a group was reduced by a tenth. But in modern English, decimation is used generically to mean 'greatly reduced or damaged', often in ...
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What is the correct etymology of ignōscō “pardon”?

The verb ignōscō, with the meaning "pardon, forgive", is explained in some sources as coming from the negative prefix in- and (g)nōscō. For example, Lewis and Short says "lit., not to wish to know, ...
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What is the relationship between “cut off” and “X-coordinate”?

Etymonline claims that abscissa originally meant 'cut off', but what's 'cut off' about an x-coordinate? X-coordinates are merely numbers, not lines. How did a word for 'cut off' come to be used for x-...
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On the etymology of Greek ἄελλα, and the mysterious Hesychius gloss for αυεουλλαι

I see on Wiktionary that ἄελλα is related to ἄημι, which comes from the PIE root *h₂weh₁-, meaning "to blow". This explains ἄε, but not the rest. Prompted by the weird Alcaeus word αυεουλλαι glossed ...
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auscultare < aus - clutare

A question was asked on French stackexchange about ausculter as a medical term and when it started being used in that sense. The meaning seems to go back to the early 19th century and Laennec, the ...
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How doesn't katholikos connote any boundary or inclusivity or exclusivity?

I don't understand the bolded phrase from HuffPost beneath. How isn't the notion of “throughout-the-whole” identical to 'universal''s 'certain sense of inclusivity' that 'necessarily implies exclusion'...
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How does drawing circles with a compass explain the etymology of 'universe'?

I don't understand the imagery in the quote below that I bolded: The centerpiece of his research is the etymology or origin of the word “catholic.” While we do commonly use it to mean “universal,” ...
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Translation of ει μη

Following a thread on german.SE I wondered why ει μη is translated as German "außer" (other than, except; translated as "unless" in one of the links) Epistle to the Romans (13, 1). The wiktionary ...
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'in-' vs 'ex-' in intendo vs extendō

Please see the side-by-side definitions of extendo and intendo below. in/ex-tension obviously share the same root. Did the difference in prefixes engender and explain the differences in their ...
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What connects lex (contract, law) and PIE *leg- 'to collect, gather'?

I was researching the etymology of 'legacy' when I saw that lex was imputed to PIE *leg-. Why? How does law or contracts relate to collecting and gathering? Etymonline (see link above) mentions ...
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What semantic notions underlie 'fold' with 'plight; predicament'?

Of the two noun homonyms 'pledge', I'm asking merely about that derived from Latin. For the other homonym from Proto-Germanic , please see this. Etymonline for 'plight (n.1)' : "condition or ...
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How might've *batare originated imitatively?

I was reading the etymology of French ébahir, when I lighted on this etymon. Etymology [of bayer] From Medieval Latin *batare (“to gape”), probably of imitative origin. I don't understand ...

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