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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How did 'folding' semantically shift to mean 'reply'? [duplicate]

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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On the origin of the name “culture” ( possible confusion between “cultura” and “cultus”)

The context of my question is a philosophical reflection on the concept of culture in the anthropological sense. The anthrological concept of "culture" dates from Tylor: culture is “that complex ...
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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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What did “quid pro quo” originally mean?

The phrase quid pro quo means "what for what" in Latin, but that makes very little sense to me. Wikipedia hints at the original meaning having to do with substitutions. That makes sense, as pro can ...
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Is there a tool/website to see which non-Latin words are derived from a given Latin word?

One way I use to learn Latin vocabulary is to seek for derived Spanish/English words which meaning I know. For instance, gressus derived into egresar and ingresar, Spanish words which mean to exit ("e[...
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108 views

Why was 'haemophilia' created to mean 'A constitutional (usually hereditary) tendency to bleeding'? [closed]

Is this auto-antonymy? I'm guessing so, as humans who love blood undeniably wouldn't want to lose it! If not, which type of semantic shift according to Blank's 1999 typology? OED and haemophilia - ...
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Is “ex-” (old, past) seen in Latin

I just really don't know where English ex-, as in "ex-friend" exactly came from. So far I havent seen such meaning in Latin (or Greek), but I know little. It would bolster the following idea, if there ...
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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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140 views

Origin of “Interficere”?

I don't understand the etymology of interfacio: inter + facio. How it became "to kill"? What is the link between "to do between"?
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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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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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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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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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107 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 ...
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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 ...
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166 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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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, ...
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63 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-...
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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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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'...
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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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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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'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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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'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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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?
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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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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.-...
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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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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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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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3answers
245 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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Is the Latin word verenda a noun? If so, which lexical root it has?

Is the Latin word verenda a noun? If so, which lexical root does it have? Deu.25:11: "Si habuerint inter se jurgium viri duo, et unus contra alterum rixari coeperit, volensque uxor alterius eruere ...
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What semantic notions underlie 'join together' and 'impose, inflict' (ie injunct)?

I'm trying to understand the etymology of injunction. To wit, how did in- "on" (from PIE root *en "in") + iungere "to join together" (from nasalized form of PIE root *yeug- "to join") ...
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Are the Latin word “octo” is derived from the serial number of the letter “h” in the alpabet? [closed]

Are the Latin word "octo" is derived from the serial number of the letter "h" in the alpabet? The latin words "veho" and "traho" transform into the latin words "vecto" and "tracto" respectively by ...
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Are the Latin word “focus” and the Old Slavonic пещь (peshch') “stove” cognates?

Can anybody please explain to me why the Latin word focus "fireplace" and the Old Slavonic word пещь (peshch') "stove"* are not cognates (PIE /f/ yields Old Slavonic /p/)? The Old Slavonic letter щ (...