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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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7
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1answer
165 views

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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0answers
30 views

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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1answer
108 views
+50

How did 'folding' semantically shift to mean 'repeat, reply'?

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") Please see ...
2
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1answer
55 views

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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91 views

How did the figurative meaning of 'iniungere' develop from the literal one?

The verb iniungere (a compound of in- and iungere) literally means "to join, fasten, attach". However, an Etymonline entry also gives it a figurative meaning "to inflict, to attack, impose". How was ...
6
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1answer
90 views

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 ...
4
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72 views

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 ...
10
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2answers
374 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
176 views

Relation of cuncti and cunctare?

I know the word cuncti/ae/a means "all", but then I came across the word cunctare or cunctari, alternatively, which means "to hesitate". Do these two words share a common etymology to some extent?
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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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1answer
39 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
52 views

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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2answers
164 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 ...
4
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1answer
61 views

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-...
5
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2answers
116 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, ...
3
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2answers
94 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
139 views

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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113 views

How did 'interesse' shift from meaning 'to be between' to “to concern, make a difference, be of importance”?

What semantics notions underlie the original meaning as stated by Etymonline literally "to be between," from inter "between" (see inter-) + esse "to be" (from PIE root *es- "to be"). with ...
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97 views

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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2answers
111 views

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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162 views

What is the etymology of the suffix -aster, -astri?

It's been a bit difficult for me to find good information about the etymology of the derivational suffix -aster. De Vaan doesn't seem to talk about it. A number of sources indicate that it is from ...
2
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0answers
37 views

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'...
2
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1answer
160 views

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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1answer
32 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
35 views

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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2answers
93 views

Is credulus a diminutive?

In the comments to an answer involving the adjective credulus the question has arisen if this word is to be parsed as a diminutive, even if the form of which it would be a diminutive (say, *credus, ...
2
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91 views

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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54 views

'quia': What semantic notions underlie 'that' and 'because'?

How did signification 2 below semantically generalize to 1? Please see the titled question. If we use Andrea Blank's 1999 typology, which semantic shift is this? Etymology of quia on Wiktionary ...
3
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1answer
62 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
70 views

Bronze and Brass in Greek

Bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, has this English Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze Which links to this page on the Greek Wikipedia: https://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/Κρατέρωμα ...
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1answer
84 views

How was 'fissiparus' mistakenly analogized with 'vīviparus'?

Is the Wiktionary entry on fissiparous below correct? Why's the analogy "mistaken"? The compounding makes sense to me? Etymology An adaptation of the New Latin fissiparus, from fissus (“split”...
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1answer
150 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 *...
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1answer
25 views

'exert' : How can you 'attach or join out' something?

exert (v.) 1660s, "thrust forth, push out," from Latin exertus/exsertus, past participle of exerere/exserere "thrust out, put forth," from ex "out, from within" (see ex-) + serere "attach, join; ...
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1answer
23 views

How's the etymology 'exert' “probably due to antithesis with inserĕre”?

"exert, v." OED Online. Accessed 26 June 2019. Can someone please expound the sentence underlined in green?
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1answer
117 views

Does Latin “pingo” relate to “pix”? [closed]

Does Latin "pingo" to paint relate to "pix" tar by analogy with "pango" to agree and "pax" peace?
3
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2answers
325 views

Does “aurea” have the second meaning?

Does "aurea" have the second meaning? http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=aurea&la=la#lexicon aurea doesn't mean "the bridle of a horse" in the following context in my opinion: "...
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1answer
69 views

When did “comment” stop meaning “lie”?

A commentum (from comminiscor) is, according to the Elementary Latin Dictionary: an invention, fabrication, pretence, fiction, falsehood At some point, a commentarium (and, I presume, its cognate ...
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1answer
63 views

What underlying semantic notions connect 'mēnsa' to the PIE *me-?

[U Texas :] Pokorny Etymon: 3. mē-, m-e-t- 'to measure' Semantic Field: to Measure [...]   Italic:   Latin:   mēnsa [ Wiktionary : ] a table a table of food; meal, course, ...
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2answers
301 views

Etymology of 'calcit(r)are'?

While interested in the etymology of 'recalcitrant', most sources, namely OED, M-W, etymonline) give something like the following: 1823, from French récalcitrant, literally "kicking back" (17c.-...
1
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1answer
83 views

What is the original, most earliest meaning of 'Nostrum'?

I found the following definition of "nostrum" online: A secret elixir, ingredients being secret and only known by the Maker, and it is a cure-all to mankind. I want to discover the true meaning of ...
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3answers
96 views

What semantic notions underlie the Latin 'quartus' & the French « écarter »?

[ CNRTL : ] Empr.[unt] au lat[in] *exquartare, dér.[ivé] du lat[in] class[ique] quartus « quart ». Wiktionary states the same etymology: how does the Numeral Adjective 4 in Latin semantically ...
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2answers
240 views

Do the Latin words rēs/rēx have the “speech” meaning?

In the Old Slavonic there is only one meaning of the word рѣчь (rech') "speech" but in the Polish there are two meanings "speech" and "thing". In my opinion, the second meaning of the Polish word ...
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0answers
53 views

Is “oppido” (adverb) related to “oppidum”(noun)?

According to L&S, the etymology of oppido (adverb) is adv. etym. dub. where I imagine "dub" stands for something like "dubious". In any case, what can we speculate about the etymology of this ...
3
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2answers
111 views

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 ...
3
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3answers
240 views

The lexical root of the perfect tense forms differs from the lexical root of the infinitive form

Do the Latin have any other verbs, whose perfect tense forms base on the lexical root, that differs from the lexical root of the infinitive form (by analogy with the verb fero > tuli)?
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2answers
47 views

Did 'liquidus' or 'liquo' mean 'abolish' and 'destroy, kill'?

I was reading the etymology of the English 'liquidate', when I read on Wiktionary that The sense "to kill, do away with" is a semantic loan from Russian ликвиди́ровать (likvidírovatʹ), ultimately ...