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 underlying semantic notions explain the etymology of 'quā'?

[ Source : ] Etymology 1 Adverb declined from quī. Adverb quā (not comparable) On which side, at or in which place, in what direction, where, by what way (qua...ea...) ...
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How many of Latin words became part of English and Spanish?

For example, if we were to take one of the most used Latin dictionaries (Lewis and Short?), and find out the percentage of total entries that have made it one way or another into English and Spanish, ...
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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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How did the fourth declension neuter dative singular become different from the non-neuter ending?

Usually, when a neuter case ending is different from the non-neuter ending in the same declension, the difference is in the nominative or accusative case (e.g. -us and -um in the second declension ...
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What is the semantic field of 'exigō' ?

[exact (adj.)]   exigere "demand, require, enforce," literally "to drive or force out," also "finish, measure," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + agere "drive, lead, act" (see act (n.)). [Wiktionary:] ...
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Is there a relationship between the word amor (love) & mors (death)?

I recently read in a book that there is an etymological relationship between the Latin words amor & mort but no citation is given. Looking at an online etymological dictionary (Wiktionary) did not ...
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Where does the -τ- come from in the oblique stem of some Greek neuter nouns with nom/acc sing forms in -ς?

I just learned that some Greek neuter nouns of the third declension with a nominative/accusative singular form ending in -ς have oblique stems in -τ-, which surprised me. I expected τ-stem neuter ...
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What exactly does the prefix 'in-' signify, in 'impartire'?

It seems that the Latin verb impartire (more commonly impertire) means "to share with another, to communicate, bestow, impart". The English verb impart comes from this. What does the prefix in- mean ...
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How does the subjunctive "under' + 'join'?

[Etymonline:] ... from sub "under" (see sub-) + iungere "to join" (see jugular). ... [OED:] ... The subjunctive mood was so called because it was regarded as specially appropriate to ‘subjoined’ ...
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How does the gerund 'bear' or 'carry'?

[ Etymonline: ] 1510s, from Latin gerundum "to be carried out," gerundive of gerere "to bear, carry" (see gest). In Latin, a verbal noun used for all cases of the infinitive but the nominative; ...
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How should particle names ending in -on be treated in Latin?

There are many particle names ending in -on in English: electron, muon, lepton, proton… How should these particle names behave in Latin? My impression is that the electron and the proton came ...
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What underlying semantic notions connect 'studere' to 'to put in, put aside, spare, keep'?

[ Etymonline on 'etui (n.)' : ] 1610s, also ettuy, etwee from French étui, Old French estui (12c.) "case, box, container," back-formation from estuier "put in put aside, spare; to keep, shut up, ...
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An introduction to Latin etymology?

I've never studied etymology, but I find myself interested in how words came into Latin and how Latin gave rise to words in other languages. There are many sources for finding the etymology of a given ...
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What did 'prō' mean in 'prōrogō' ? What is its Semantic Field?

[ Etymonline : ]   [...]   from Latin prorogare, literally "to ask publicly," from pro "before" (see pro-) + rogare "to ask" (see rogation). Perhaps the original sense in Latin was "to ask for ...
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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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Does Latin allow the letter K in suffixed words?

Does Latin allow the letter 'k' in suffixed words? Actually, I'm explaining a phenomenon in which English spelling changes... Consider the following examples: Likeable, shakeable, makeable - these ...
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Are there well-assimilated Latin words from Semitic languages?

I've generally assumed that Latin words coming from Semitic are usually transformed by Greek: even Elissa is a Greek transcription of the original. But this answer indicates that the well-attested ...
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Is there an etymological connection between “comitia” and “comes”?

In the Roman Republic, the word comitia was used for the various popular assemblies (e.g. comitia centuriata). I can't find any clear indication online as to its etymological roots. I was wondering ...
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What semantic notions underlie ex/in-tēnsiō with the logical meanings of ex/in-tension?

How did 'ex/in-tēnsiō' semantically specialize to mean the logical meanings below? 'ex/in-tēnsiō' obviously share the same root, and differ merely in prefixes. Does the difference in prefix explain ...
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Do epi- and para- befit the meanings of epitope and paratope? [closed]

Doubtless epi- and para-tope' share the same root, and differ merely in prefixes. Does the difference in prefix explain their meanings? Lexico defines epitope: The part of an antigen molecule to ...
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Generic use of Italian “fare”: analogue in Latin?

The Italian word "fare" is often used in a very generic way. English doesn't use "do" or "make" that much, but it can still be a good comparison. Let me give some examples. We may say "fare Greco" ("...
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What is the origin of the -a in words like “collega, advena”?

There are a couple of masculine (or common) nouns of the first declension. Some are from masculine Greek -ês, like poeta, nauta. But others, like collega, advena, parricida, scriba, incola, agricola, ...
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Etymologically, does the “pro-” in “procreo” have a specific referrant?

What is the etymology of procreo? How does it differ from creo? Does the "pro-" in procreo refer to someone or something specific—e.g., to God or country, in the sense that procreation is for the sake ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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1answer
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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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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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Unde “-cundus”?

I have learned that there is a suffix -cundus, found in words like fecundus, jucundus/jocundus, and rubicundus, which means something like "full of" or "characterized by." It seems to often be ...
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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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261 views

What does con- in “conceptus” mean? How does it relate to “a thing conceived”?

Why Do Languages Change? (2010) by R. L. Trask (1944-2004). p. 105. (Latin conceptus is literally ‘with-taking’) Does the prefix con- truly mean “with” here? But Etymonline says that it's "...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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114 views

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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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 meaning and history of the word Imperator?

As most people with historical interests know, the English word "emperor" is derived from Old French empereor which is derived from Latin imperator. IMHO it seems more correct to refer to a Roman ...
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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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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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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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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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How did 'in-' + 'putare' compound to mean 'to attribute, credit to, impute'?

impute (v.): early 15c., from Old French imputer (14c.) and directly from Latin imputare "to reckon, make account of, charge, ascribe," from assimilated form of in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + ...
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53 views

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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1answer
232 views

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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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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Does mentula (“penis”) derive from the same root as mens (“mind”), and if so why?

The Latin word mentula isn't properly defined in the Lewis & Short dictionary, but it does show up on Latin-Dictionary.net and Wiktionary. Both those dictionaries define mentula as "penis". But ...

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