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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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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145 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 ...
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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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What does Geryon have to do with singing?

One of the Labors of Heracles involved a three-headed giant named Geryon (Γηρυών). I've never seen an explanation for this name, but at first glance it would seem to be connected to γηρύω "to sing" (...
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602 views

What is the word for “reason” and what resonance does it have in Roman culture?

I find it interesting that the French expression avoir raison shares an etymology with the English words "reason" and "rational". In a post-truth political era, it is refreshing that the French ...
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175 views

Etymology of “ingeniōsus” and “ingenuus”

Can someone please explain how these two words, ingenuus ingeniōsus both deriving from gignō, come to mean what they respectively do? BACKGROUND According to Wiktionary, ingenuus is made of in- +‎ ...
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49 views

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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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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144 views

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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“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 ...
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53 views

Comparing -logists and -nomists

Various words for professions end in -logist or -nomist. I hope I do not do terrible injustice by treating -nomer as a synonym for -nomist. These seem to come from the Greek words logos and nomos and ...
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396 views

Does the phrase “orbis terrarum” reflect Ancient Roman knowledge that the Earth is a sphere?

Does the phrase orbis terrarum reflect Ancient Roman knowledge that the Earth is a sphere? Some kinds of evidence that might suggest an answer: Did people say orbis terrarum for the world before they ...
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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 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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157 views

What is the difference between nego, ignoro, and nescio?

Trying to understand the subtle differences between the three words "nego", "ignoro", and "nescio". This question is not about the meanings in modern English, but the original meanings of the ...
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173 views

Is there any explanation for the formation of “bomphiologia” as a Greek word for “verborum bombus”?

Recently on ELU, a question was asked about the meaning of three rhetorical terms that are obviously based on Greek: “macrologia”, “periergia” and “bomphiologia”. The Greek etymologies of "macrologia"...
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Why would 'quamquam' have been employed in school debates?

Wiktionary in English lacking information on etymology, I must cite the French version of the French verb 'cancan', but omit the other impertinent etymology hypotheses: (Bavardage) (1821) [3.] ...
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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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117 views

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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54 views

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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123 views

Does *meditari* mean “measure”?

Does meditari have a meaning like "measure"? Using Google (I don't know which dictionary it's quoting), I see ... However I don't think I'm seeing that in a Latin dictionary, e.g. Lewis and Short or ...
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128 views

How the Greek word “oikonomia” got meaning of “thrift”?

Some dictionaries seems to include the word "thrift" at the end of definition for oikonomia (good examples here and here): Greek oikonomia "household management, thrift. I would like to know the ...
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43 views

Development of the figurative meaning of derivare

If I understand correctly, derivare means literally "to lead water from a river" (from rivus). L&S gives examples of this literal meaning, but it also lists figurative uses. Only the figurative ...
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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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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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53 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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53 views

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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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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52 views

Did meminisse ever had a present tense?

The verb meminī, meminisse, *mementus ever have any sort of (morphologically) present tense? If not, why not? If so, at what point was it lost in Latin? Bonus points: if the present tense had ...
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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[...