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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64 views

In what sense is “securitas” a condition of being “without care”?

This post states that se is a prefix that means "without". Wiktionary coincides on that regarding the Latin word securus, which is described as a compound between se and cura, "without ...
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What are the semantic, pragmatic, or other differences between -tio, -tus, -tura, and other action nouns

Salvete Omnes, While answering this question on a motto related to computers, I was going to question the authority of Vicipaedia's use of words derived from programma, particularly action nouns from ...
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Rentiers in Ancient Greece

I've been looking for a Greek equivalent of 'Rentiers' who exploit the economy by lobbying the state e.g. asking the state to give them subsidies for a certain common good (climate change) but ...
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60 views

Which is correct? Eugenius or Eugenīus or both?

Checking the dictionary entries for Eugenius, I was surprised to find different vowel quantities depending on whether it was the adjective or the noun. As you can see from the screenshot above, ...
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Are “pater”, “parens”, “parturitio”, & “partitio” etymologically related?

Are pater (father), parens (procreator), parturitio (parturition), and partitio (partition) etymologically related? Phonetic and semantic similarities lead me to think they might be related. I can't ...
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On the Etymology of the Future Active Infinitive

In Syntax of Plautus, W. M. Lindsay writes: But the earliest form of the Future Infinitive Active, which still survives in some lines of Plautus and has probably been removed by scribes from more, ...
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200 views

Is μῆνις cognate with mania?

Pharr (Homeric Greek: a book for beginners, 4th ed.) has on pp. 10 and 281 a statement that μῆνις in Homer would have had an α in most dialects and says that it's cognate with maniac and maniacal. But ...
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What is and is not a possible etymology of “ilex”

The OLD and De Vaan both list the etymology of īlex (gen. īlicis) as unknown. There is also an adjective īlignus/īligneus, which De Vaan says "reflects *īliknos < pre-syncope *īlik-ino-s."...
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543 views

How did PIE *h₂énti-h₃kʷós get lengthened to Proto-Italic *antīkʷos?

The word antīquus has a long vowel in the middle, but the proposition ante is short; indeed, if I am not mistaken (it has been a while since I read and wrote about Saturnian), both of its morae are ...
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'Fomites'? From 'fomes'?

Of the many candidates for 'word of the year', 'fomites' is a semifinalist for sure (with the added flavor of multiple pronunciations). But why the dental '-t-' in the plural? What is the pattern? Is ...
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Why is the root vowels of 'salsus' and 'saliō' from 'sāl' shortened?

Working my way through the Duolingo course, I noticed that salsus has a short root vowel, even though sāl, sālis¹ is long-voweled. The etymology entry on Wiktionary states that the adjective is from ...
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385 views

What is the connection between stipula (stalk) and stipulari (to extract a promise)?

How did the meaning of stipulari (to extract a promise) develop from stipula (a stalk), if indeed it did?
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Is Greek ἀρά, prayer, cognate with Latin ara, altar?

Is Greek ἀρά, prayer, cognate with Latin ara, altar? Wiktionary had ἀράομαι, with the etymology pointing to a red-linked ἀρά. I created an entry for ἀρά based on LSJ, but I have no source of ...
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183 views

Latin justification for the English word tradent

I was reading the following thread https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/tradent.3819293/ - There it is stated that the English word tradent, according to the OED means Chiefly in Rabbinic Jewish ...
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Was avē truly pronounced with an “unspelled /h/”?

According to the etymology at Wiktionary, avē derived from a Punic word with an initial /h/, and was pronounced as such in the Classical period even though the word was spelt without. Is this claim, ...
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50 views

Etymology of εὔκοπος

This seems to be a koine word meaning easy. LSJ has it and the verb κοπάζω, but the English wiktionary didn't have either. I added both to wiktionary. It seems obvious that the etymology of κοπάζω is ...
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Determining the etymology of words in Latin

I am interested in the etymology of words in Latin. Is there a resource available that could help me determine if a word is specifically from Old, New or Vulgar Latin etc. according to a time it is ...
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779 views

Why -ώς in αἰδώς?

The word αἰδώς means awe, shame, or respect. There are related words such as αἰδοῖος. I feel like I ought to be training my brain to recognize inflections in order to get clues as to meaning, but as ...
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95 views

What is the relation and history of 'si' and 'sic'?

Lewis and Short tell me that sic comes from si by adding the particle -ce. I can understand sice wearing down to sic, but I do not quite understand how I am supposed to understand the meanings of the ...
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Semantic link between πόνος and πονηρός?

Πόνος means toil or suffering, while πονηρός, derived from it, can mean either that someone toils under oppression or else is knavish, base, or evil. What is the semantic link between toil/suffering ...
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Why did so many Romans name their children after ordinal numbers?

Why were so many praenomina ordinal numbers or apparently derived from ordinal numbers? A few examples: Octavia Minor (Augustus Caesar's older sister) Octavia Major (Augustus Caesar's older half-...
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What is the the etymology and origin of the word/name Calvus?

Doing research (the question was also asked here as well) I came across the name having a French origin meaning "bald". However, I also came across that the name has a connection to the ...
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Did “interpolare” mean “polish up” or “polish among”? Why wasn't sup- used?

Does inter- mean "up" as Ayto vouches below? Is Etymonline wrong that inter- means "among, between"? Why didn't Latin use sup-, the prefix for "up", here? interpolate [...
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57 views

Why did Latin prefix a(d)- to vis(um)?

In other words, why didn't visum itself shift to mean "opinion"? What does ad- contribute to this semantic shift? advice [13] Like modern French avis, advice originally meant ‘opinion’, ...
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53 views

How does “send to” mean “allow to enter”?

Ayto doesn't expound the shift from "send to" toward "allow to enter"? I don't understand the "hence". admit [15] This is one of a host of words, from mission to ...
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255 views

How did “dis-” contribute to the meaning of “directus”?

Ayto doesn't expound how *addrictiāre shifted to mean "direct something, such as a letter, to somebody". address [14] Address originally meant ‘straighten’. William Caxton, for example, ...
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158 views

Where does -ι- come from in derivatives of ἅλς (ἁλιάετος, ἁλιαής, ἁλιανθής)?

Many compounds or derivatives of the Greek word ἅλς hals "salt, sea" seem to be built on the form ἁλι- hali-: ἁλιά(ι)ετος "sea-eagle", ἁλιαής "blowing seaward", ἁλιανθής &...
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Create new word: super + portare

I want to create a new word by analogy to "support" with the prefix super-. According to Google the modern English word "support" comes from Latin supportare and is composed of sub-...
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frater < “fere” + “alter”?

Is the etymology of the word frater from fere (almost) + alter (another), in the sense that a brother is more closely related to his sibling than another, unrelated person? St. Isidore's Etymologies (...
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Is ὀργίζω, to anger, cognate with ὄργια, a secret rite or ritual?

Is ὀργίζω, to anger, cognate with ὄργια, a secret rite or ritual? Wiktionary has a red link from the uncommon modern word to a not-yet-existing page for the ancient word (with accents). It seems at ...
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Why is “porticus, porticūs” a feminine fourth-declension noun?

The fourth declension was one of the less common inflection pattern for Latin nouns, and the vast majority of fourth declension nouns are masculine nouns ending in the deverbal abstract noun suffix -...
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Are there ever separate number and case markers in Latin?

It seems to me that in Latin the case endings in singular and plural have very little in common. For an example of singular–plural pairs: puella–puellae, puellam–puellas, puellae–puellarum, puellae–...
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648 views

Where does the final -ς in genitive feminine singularis -ᾱς/-ης/τῆς come from?

The declination pattern for the case endings, as well as the article ὁ, ἡ, τό, seems to fairly closely match that of the grammatical endings you find in Latin: Case Latin Greek Latin Greek Latin ...
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What is the etymology of the Scythian word “hezios” meaning “covered”?

Pliny the Elder claimed, in the 6th book in the 19th chapter of "Naturalis Historia", that the name "Caucasus" comes from Scythian "kroi hezios" meaning "snow-...
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When did “si” become the standard word for “yes” in the Italian peninsula?

I am aware that classical Latin did not have words for "yes" and "no" in the same sense that English does. I know that they could express the idea of "yes" by either ...
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What's up with 'ubī'?

Just noticed, with respect to this question about 'which' and the five 'wh-' question words, that there's kind of a similar but reverse sort of situation in Latin. It looks like of all the ...
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Composition of a word ἡμιόλιος

The Ancient Greek word ἡμιόλιος means literally "one and a half", referring to the ratio 3:2 and the interval of a perfect fifth in music. I wonder how this word is composed of: is it ἡμι- (...
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Did Isidore of Seville ever claim Roman god of wine, Bacchus, got his name from “baculus” (walking stick)?

On multiple places on-line, including Wikipedia, there is information that Saint Isidore of Seville claimed that the name of the Roman god of wine, Bacchus, got his name from "baculus" ...
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Is it plausible that the word “bellua”(beast) derived from “bellum”(war)? (or vice versa)

I saw Luis Vives made the claim that "bellum" is derived from "bellua": Truly fighting belongs neither to good men nor to thieves, nor to any that are men at all, but is a right ...
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What is the etymology of 'cuius' and is it different from 'quis'?

'cuius' (and 'cui') is an interesting word in that it stands out as different from the other terms in the declension of 'quis'. It seems to be pronounced differently. 'quis' is /kwis/ but 'cuius' is /...
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How did 're' + 'torquere' semantically shift to mean retort an argument or accusation?

p 1811 on Oxford Latin Dictionary (2012 2 ed) doesn't expound the semantic shift from 1 to 3b below. I read Etymology on "retort". I don't wrestle or fight, and don't understand Definition ...
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446 views

The etymology of “astrigmentum”

As I understand from several sources (e.g) it's meaning is kind of lace/straps. Apparently its a of a medieval origin (encountered that word in Luis Vives 16h century). But I struggle to see how this ...
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151 views

Why are these insects prophetic?

In English, a "mantis" is a type of predatory insect. They're also called "praying mantises" because of the shape of their forelegs. The name seems, quite transparently, to come ...
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315 views

Did Latin ever have a rule of lengthening vowels in monosyllables ending in /s/?

I was surprised by the following portion of "Exceptions to rhotacism", by Kyle Gorman (2012): Latin has a bimoraic minimal word requirement, implemented by a process of Subminimal ...
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abortio < ab- (away from) + orto (rising)?

Is the etymology of abortio (n.) or aborior (v.) from ab- (away from) + orto (rising), in the sense that it abruptly cuts off the progress ("rising") of something?
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¿Was “grosso modo” popularised from Latin or Italian?

Grosso modo is a phrase of Latin origin, meaning "approximately". The phrase has been adopted in many languages (like English, French, Dutch, etc), as the referred link testifies. The ...
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Does D/L variation go back to a dl cluster?

As outlined here in “Indo-European *d, *l and *dl” by Tim Pulju, there’s a hypothesis going back to Hamp 1972 that the l in Latin lacrima and d in the archaic variant dacruma both represent a dl ...
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Are concubine and concupiscence ultimately related?

Phonetically and semantically, it seemed clear to me that concubine and concupiscence should share a root; however, Wiktionary (1, 2) and Etymonline (3, 4) both point to different Latin roots. ...
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Why is *salāta feminine? What was the original noun it is modifying?

OED traces the "salad" family of words (Portuguese salada, Fra. salate, Spa. ensalada, Ita. insalata etc.) to spoken Latin *salāta, from the verb salāre. One notices that salāta as well as ...
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Is “tribuo” derrived from “tribus” or vice versa?

According to Wiktionary, the verb tribuo comes from tribus. But further search led me to this etymological dictionary, which in turn cites Forcelleni on those two entries; On tribuo Forcelleni writes ...

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