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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5
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1answer
510 views

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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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 ...
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Where does Pliny, or any ancient author, write about a stilus plumbeus?

Researching the history of the pencil the German speaking web is full of quotes that attribute to Pliny the mentioning of a stilus plumbeus as the historical and etymological source for the word ...
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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 "Causasus" comes from Scythian "kroi hezios" meaning "snow-...
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191 views

Why did Romans think of novissimus as last?

In the letter of Plinius to Tacitus about his and his mother's flight, there is the following sentence: multi ad deos manus tollere, plures usquam iam deos ullos aeternamque illam et novissimam ...
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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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189 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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274 views

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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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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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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835 views

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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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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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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Does “aurea” have the second meaning?

Does "aurea" have the second meaning? According to Latin Word Study Tool, aurea doesn't mean "the bridle of a horse" in the following context in my opinion: "trecenta quoque ...
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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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135 views

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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What is the origin of the active perfect indicative personal endings?

The active perfect stem conjugation in Latin resembles the conjugation of esse a lot, but I recently learned that it is likely to be a coincidence. However, the active perfect indicative forms do not ...
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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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634 views

Beaver and Pollux?

Castor and Pollux are famous mythological twins. Castor is also the genus of beavers. This makes me wonder two things: Are these two Castors related in any way? Was this double meaning observed in ...
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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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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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Is there any relation between Bellerophon and belua?

I know this is a long shot, one word being Greek and the other Latin, but is it at all possible for there to be a relation between Bellerophon, the slayer of beasts, and belua "beast"? A cursory ...
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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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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 ...
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192 views

What's the “Caly” in “Calydon”?

In Greek mythology, there was a terrifying monster known as the Calydonian Boar. It was called the "Calydonian Boar" because it was a monstrous pig that terrorized the town called "...
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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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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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139 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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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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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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Etymology and pronunciation of words ending in “-iasis”

Unfortunately, I don’t own any Latin or Greek dictionaries or etymological texts, but I tried to research this topic on the internet. Here is what I found: Perseus: words ending in “iasis” in L&S ...
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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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356 views

What (if anything) does the prefix 'de-' mean in *defallere?

This inspired this question; I should verify whether the prefix really means something. *defallere from Latin de- "away" + fallere "to deceive, to cheat; to put wrong, to lead astray, cause to be ...
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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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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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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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Which is the logic behind “Aloysius” Latinisation?

Wikipedia states that Aloysius is: ... a Latinisation of the names Louis, Lewis, Luis, Luigi, Ludwig, and other cognate names (traditionally in Medieval Latin as Ludovicus or Chlodovechus), ...
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What underlying notion connects “roll” (in “volvere”) to “leap” (in “*volvitare”)?

[vault (v.1) :]   [...] from Vulgar Latin *volvitare "to turn, leap," frequentative of Latin volvere "to turn, turn around, roll" (see volvox). [...] I ask not about the meanings "turn" or "...
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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 ...
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What underlying semantic notions connect 'campus' to the PIE root *kam-p- (to bend)?

Univ. Texas's page on kam-p-   'to bend' states: 'Semantic Field: to Bend'. Then I saw campus (plain, campus, open field) listed, but what semantic notions underlie it and 'to bend'? I can ...
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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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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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2k views

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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