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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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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590 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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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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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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552 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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151 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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“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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80 views

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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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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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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258 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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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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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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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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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 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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135 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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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'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 ...
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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 ...