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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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9
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1answer
121 views

Is cultura a future participle?

Some nouns derived from verbs look like future participles: cultura from colere, sepultura from sepelire, scriptura from scribere… These do not have a future meaning, but are merely names for ...
8
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1answer
127 views

How did 'ad' + 'hūc' compound to get its meanings?

[ Adverb   adhūc : ]   Etymology     ad "to" + hūc "here" so far, thus far, hitherto, still [2.1] again; [2.2] furthermore; [2.3] moreover; [2.4] besides (used in scholastic debates to ...
22
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3answers
1k views

When is “diēs” masculine, when is it feminine, and why can this word take different genders?

Wiktionary goes into it a bit: Diēs is an exceptional case of a fifth declension noun since it is both used in the masculine form and in the feminine form, instead of just feminine like the rest of ...
5
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1answer
173 views

Plura or pluria?

Before answering this recent question about the US motto, I had to check whether the neuter version of plures is plura or pluria. I had recalled right: plura appears to be indeed the sole form used in ...
12
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2answers
627 views

How do the verbs do and δίδωμι come from *deh₃-?

I was a little surprised to find that the PIE root of do and δίδωμι is *deh₃-, not *do-. How did we get the "o" vowel sound from eh₃? I don't actually know how to pronounce h₃, but I'm assuming that *...
10
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1answer
201 views

Where did the passive infinitive come from?

The etymology of the present active infinitive seems well-documented. Proto-Italic had an infinitive-like suffix *-si, so *dōnā- + *-si = *dōnāsi > dōnāre by regular sound changes (s → z → r between ...
15
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2answers
305 views

Why does uacuus have three syllables?

I stumbled across this question on the pronunciation of 'vacuum' in the “linguistics” forum. My question is: If uacuus is *wak+wo- why does uacuus have three syllables, but uiuus, paruus, caluus etc. ...
12
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1answer
960 views

Why might “Philosophiae Doctor” (the source of “Ph.D.”) have been preferred over “Doctor Philosophiae”?

The English abbreviation Ph.D. comes from the Latin for Doctor of Philosophy, which I understand would be either Philosophiae Doctor or Doctor Philosophiae. I know word order is flexible in Latin, ...
11
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2answers
255 views

Is there an exclusive word for octopus in Ancient Greek?

I was having the great "octopuses vs. octopi" debate with a scientist friend the other day, and decided to check the lexicon. The only entry I could find relates the word to measurement, either of ...
9
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1answer
110 views

Is angulus a diminutive?

The word angulus (angle or corner) looks like a diminutive. Was it derived from some other word or stem using the diminutive -ulus suffix, or is looking like a diminutive coincidental? It looks like ...
9
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1answer
574 views

What is the origin of the 3rd-person plural perfect ending “-ēre”?

Laudavēre is an (apparently older) alternative to laudaverunt. What is the origin of this ending? Is it connected with any other known endings or affixes? Clackson & Horrocks say it is from an ...
7
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3answers
331 views

Cur nullum genus adiectivo “vetus”?

Why doesn't the adjective vetus inflect for gender?* I checked the etymology and vetus appears to have been inherited from Proto-Indo-European by the usual route. So why is it irregular? * OK, ...
5
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1answer
140 views

What's the deal with the extra U in 'mortuus'?

The verb mori ("to die") has the unusual past participle mortuus ("dead"). The stem of the participle is mortu-, the only example of a past participle stem ending in a vowel I can think of. (If my ...
12
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2answers
452 views

How do we know that Italian words come from accusatives, not ablatives?

I have been told by several sources that Italian nouns and adjectives that originate from Latin come from accusative forms. Also the final -m is lost and an u becomes o. For example, caro > carnem > ...
9
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1answer
118 views

Translating -ish and -aster endings

There are ways in Latin of expressing less-than-completeness, but I'm intrigued by the strange-ish (!) and allegedly related etymologies given in English dictionaries for these two endings, which are ...
14
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1answer
655 views

What does the suffix -mentum add to a word's meaning?

Lewis and Short lists 275 words ending in -mentum, many of which have come into English: argumentum augmentum documentum fragmentum pigmentum segmentum etc. Wiktionary (cited as an example, not as ...
9
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2answers
248 views

Is the -que in quinque at all related to the conjunction -que?

I noticed that quinque ends in -que. I asked my teacher if this was sheer coincidence or so reason for it. He didn't know but he thought it was coincidental. I, however, think that they probably share ...
9
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1answer
172 views

Borrowing Greek verbs without -ίζω

I was recently linked to this post on False Cognates, discussing different verb classes in Latin, Greek, and Germanic. One part caught my eye: Latin verbs of all conjugations are borrowed easily (...
8
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2answers
251 views

Etymology of Nausicaa?

There was an interesting question on Lit regarding a proposed meaning of Nausicaa as "burner of ships". Although I don't have an issue with the ναῦς/κάω hypothesis, I suspect κάω is more likely used ...
7
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1answer
250 views

Is “-landia” good Latin?

Several Latin names of modern countries end in -landia if the corresponding English name ends in -land: Islandia, Nederlandia, Irlandia, Thailandia, Finlandia (also Finnia). England has a much older ...
5
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0answers
51 views

“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 ...
3
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0answers
101 views

Etymology of Ἀσκληπιός (Greek)

There are different theories on the etymology of Asclepius, all of which I want to understand. According to Wikipedia: The etymology of the name is unknown. In his revised version of Frisk's ...
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2answers
171 views

'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 ...
16
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1answer
148 views

Quare dicitur “poeta” et non “pœeta”?

"Why is it "poeta" and not "poeeta" in Latin?" This question occurs in the Harvard University Catalogue of 1872-73, but I haven't been able to find the answer. The reason I would expect "pœeta" is ...
12
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1answer
279 views

Does “ad” have its origin in Hebrew/Semitic languages?

The sources I've read usually say that 'ad' (i.e., in 'ad infinitum') is derived from Proto-Indo-European *ád ‎("near, at"). However, they don't refer any Semitic origins. But here's an excerpt from ...
12
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2answers
2k views

If arm is 'arma', why is unarmed 'inermis' and not 'inarmis'?

I came across the Spanish word 'inerme', which comes from Latin inermis and means unarmed. Since the Latin word for arm is 'arma' and the preffix 'in' indicates negation, it is clear that the form '...
11
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2answers
2k views

Are “sex” and “sexus” etymologically related?

Are sex (the number 6) or sextus (⅙ or ordinal sixth)(From where the English word "sextant" comes.) and sexus (sex or gender) etymologically related?
8
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1answer
95 views

Are Iulus and Iulius related?

Is there an etymological (and hence historical) relation between Aeneas's son Iulus and Iulius Caesar? Virgil was obviously trying to establish a conexion of blood, be it mythological, between the ...
8
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3answers
203 views

Why σελήνη instead of ἑλήνη?

The Greek word for the moon is σελήνη selēnē, σελᾱνᾱ selānā, or σελάννᾱ selánnā, depending on dialect. All seem to come transparently from the same root as σέλας sélas, "shine". But since these both ...
8
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1answer
182 views

Greek & Latin words from ANE languages excluding Biblical Hebrew

Seeing this question made me curious if there's an already-compiled list of words of Ancient Near Eastern origin, hopefully excluding all those borrowed from the Hebrew Bible or other Hebrew/Aramaic ...
8
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2answers
238 views

Do any Latin verbs use a temporal augment?

In Greek, past tenses are formed with "augmentation," e.g. present -> imperfect: λῡ́ω > ἔλῡον εὑρῐ́σκω > ηὕρῐσκον Since we know that certain Latin verbs preserve perfect reduplication, I wonder: do ...
8
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1answer
91 views

How to describe ministers in Latin?

I want to talk about different ministers in a government in Latin. Minister and ministra are good words for a minister, but how to say "minister of justice and employment" and "minister of economic ...
7
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1answer
72 views

Is there a connection between clivus and clinatus?

Wiktionary suggests that clivus is related to clino and clinatus. But it doesn't explain the connection. Is there some way that n in a verb becomes v in a related noun or adjective? Wiktionary traces ...
6
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1answer
108 views

Why is there a short ŭ in rŭtus?

In Cerberus's list of u-stem verbs, rŭō, rŭere, rŭī, rŭtus is the only one with a short ŭ in the participle stem. Why is this? Does it go back to different types of verbs in PIE, as with stătus ...
6
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2answers
133 views

About αὐτόματος

According to the wikipedia article on this word, it is composed of αὐτός and ματος, which seems to be derived from "the proto-Indo-European *méntis ~ *mn̥téys (“thought”)." My question is simple: Is ...
5
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2answers
94 views

How did the mixed-root “anticipātiō, anticipātiōnis” form?

I was considering the English word anticipation the other day, and wondered at how it ended up with a Greek prefix followed by a Latin root.1 After a quick search I found that the word derives from ...
5
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1answer
110 views

What “ment” means in “incrementum”

What "ment" means in "incrementum"? On Wiktionary I have found meaning of only first parts of the word.
5
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2answers
128 views

Is ulula a diminutive?

Is ulula (an owl of some kind) a diminutive? It looks like one, but I'm not familiar with a Latin word looking remotely like ula. The word appears to be onomatopoetic to some extent, but it's hard to ...
5
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2answers
118 views

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, ...
4
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1answer
88 views

Are there other Latin words from the same PIE root as oculus?

In an answer to the question whether oculus is a diminutive, cnread told that this word comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *H3ekw, "see". Are there other Latin words from this same root, in ...
3
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0answers
32 views

How did 'ad' + 'hūc' compound to mean 'furthermore; moreover; besides'? [duplicate]

[ Adverb   adhūc : ]   Etymology     ad "to" + hūc "here" so far, thus far, hitherto, still [2.1] again; [2.2] furthermore; [2.3] moreover; [2.4] besides (used in scholastic debates to ...
2
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1answer
23 views

What semantic notions underlie 'untie, separate' with 'solve, explain'?

From se- (“away”) +‎ luō (“to untie, set free, separate”), solvō originally signified I loosen, untie, undo; free [up], release, acquit, exempt But how did it semantically broaden to signify "2. ...
2
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1answer
78 views

Is the third person passive perfect of a verb a source of nouns, e.g. “benedictus” from “bendico”?

I always get confused with benedictus. It Christian prayers, it is found both as a noun and as a (passive) verb, e.g. benedictus est. When est is omitted (not uncommon in Latin, it seems), both look ...
2
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3answers
184 views

How did '-met' + 'ipse' + '-issimus' compound to mean <the same> (in *metipsimus)?

[ Wiktionary for *metipsimus :] Etymology [0.] From -met (emphatic suffix) + ipse (“himself”) + -issimus (superlative suffix). Adjective *metipsimus (feminine *metipsima, neuter *...