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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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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103 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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156 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 ...
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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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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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152 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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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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189 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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'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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65 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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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 how *...
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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 (“...
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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-) ...
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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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258 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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109 views

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 ...
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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 (...
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Do the Latin have the cognate verb/noun for words maximus, magnus?

Do the Latin have the cognate verb/noun for the adjectives maximus, magnus? something resembling the following: rex rego; vox voco; nox ?nego?; lux luceo
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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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1answer
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Are the words “negative”, “nego” and “niger”, “nox” cognates?

Are the Latin words "negative", "nego" and "niger", "nox" are cognates? In accordance to bible, word is a light and its absence is a dark.
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Is the U long or short in the forms ussi and ustus of the verb ūro?

I'm uncertain about the length of the u in the perfect and perfect passive participle stems of the verb uro /uːroː/. My research Lewis (1890) gives "ūrō ūssī, ūstus" but doesn't explain why....
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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 ...
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How does the notion of 'limpidity' explain the etymology of 'liquidated' in 'liquidated damages'?

Paul Davies. JC Smith's The Law of Contract (2018 2 ed). p. 466 I'm trying to understand the etymology of the function words in the definition of 'liquidated damages'. I read Is liquidate(-tion) ...
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What semantic notions underlie 'loosen, release' and 'able to pay all one owes'?

To wit, how does 'loosen, release' semantically shift to mean 'able to pay all one owes'? Etymonline on 'solvent (adj.) 1650s, "able to pay all one owes," from French solvent, from Latin ...
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How do the statistics definitions of 'accuracy' and 'precision' relate to their etymons?

Etymonline entry of 'accurate': 1610s, "done with care," from Latin accuratus "prepared with care, exact, elaborate," past participle of accurare "take care of," from ad "to" (see ad-) + curare "...
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What is the connection between figs and pride in the word Caprificus?

I have seen the definitions of caprificus (caper + ficus = goat + fig) include both pride and fig trees /goat-figs. Are goats considered particularly prideful? I would think they would be more ...
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594 views

Prodigo = pro + ago?

According to Wiktionary, prodigo is a verb which etymology comes from "pro + ago". The same is suggested by L&S. However, I cannot see how ago fits here. The conjugation of this verb seems at odds ...
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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 ...
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Does this NY Times article give a proper etymology of “procrastinate”?

A recent New York Times article about procrastination begins with an etymology lesson: Etymologically, “procrastination” is derived from the Latin verb procrastinare — to put off until tomorrow. ...
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Etymology of Fortasse

The word "fortasse" (meaning 'perhaps') looks like it's two words squished together, but I can't find any etymology for it. Does anyone know where fortasse comes from?
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Etymology of ambulance

For a while I have been curious about the etymology of the English word 'ambulance' since it seems to be derived from the Latin word 'ambulare' (to walk). This seems a strange origin for the word. ...
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Is “history” a male-biased word (“his+story”)?

In the last International Women's Day I saw some footage showing a poster with the phrase "women making herstory", as opposed to "history". The phrase was playing with the fact that the word "history" ...
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136 views

How did vulgus get its ending?

Vulgus "crowd, mob, common people" is a neuter second-declension noun. But unlike most second-declension neuters, it ends in -us, like a masculine. How did this happen? Is there an etymological ...
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Etimology of the word “σκευή”

What's the origin of this word?Is it indo-european?
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Etymology of “immediatus”

Context There is an ongoing discussion here on the intended meaning of the word "immediately", as found in the 1950's encyclical Humani generis, by Pope Pius XII. The declaration states: ...
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Are “magister” and “majesty” etymologically related?

My teachers are 'Magisters.' My king is his 'Majesty.' My dragon is 'Majestic.' Is there some etymological link between the Latin word for 'teacher' and the words we use for exaltation?
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Did the word “citione” meaning “bump in the head” exist in Latin?

In the Spanish language site someone asked about the etymology of the word chichón (link in Spanish), meaning bump (typically in the head as a result of a hit). The most common theory is that it is ...
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What semantic notions underlie 'untie, separate' with 'solve, explain'?

From se- (“away”) +‎ luō (“to untie, set free, separate”), solvō originally signified I loosen, untie, undo; free [up], release, acquit, exempt But how did it semantically broaden to signify "2. ...

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