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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14
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1answer
780 views

On the etymology of “violin” and “vitula”

Several English etymological sources say violin is from Latin vitula. A vitula/vitulus is a calf. But why was the instrument named after a calf? But some sources say this vitula may be from vitulari "...
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Is there a Ancient Greek or Latin equivalent to “steely eyed”?

I'm looking for parallel idioms related by vocabulary and/or meaning. This is in reference to a question on Mythology regarding the "gray eyed" translation of an epithet of Athena: Why is Athena “...
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319 views

About the formation of the word “euthanasia”

The etymology of euthanasia is pretty straightforward, as this site shows: Early 17th century (in the sense ‘easy death’): from Greek, from eu ‘well’ + thanatos ‘death’. What is less ...
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321 views

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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Etymology of Nausicaa?

There was an interesting question on Lit regarding a proposed meaning of Nausicaa as "burner of ships". Although I don't have an issue with the ναῦς/κάω hypothesis, I suspect κάω is more likely used ...
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A semantic question about αὐτόματος

Here is a question related to the one I asked about an hour ago: As an adjective, the main meaning of αὐτόματος is self-willed, but as a noun, it primarily means accident or chance, according to this ...
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About αὐτόματος

According to the wikipedia article on this word, it is composed of αὐτός and ματος, which seems to be derived from "the proto-Indo-European *méntis ~ *mn̥téys (“thought”)." My question is simple: Is ...
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300 views

Why is it “dare” and not “dāre” when most first conjugation verbs spell like “amāre”?

Why does dō conjugate differently from other first conjugation verbs in that you find a short a where otherwise you might expect a long ā? BACKGROUND Examples: amāre (dare), amārī (darī), ...
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287 views

What would be the etymologically Greek spelling of 'misogynoir'?

I asked this at another language Stack Exchange but was directed to here instead. I wasn't too sure how best to phrase the title of this question, so hope I can better explain it in this body. For ...
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163 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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347 views

What is the origin of the “veneration” meaning of dulia?

The word dulia comes from the Greek doulia (meaning "slavery" or "servitude"). But in Catholicism, the word has taken on a theological meaning, as described in the Catholic Encyclopedia, "signifying ...
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How did the Latin past participle suffix -atus develop into modern French -é?

How did the Latin past participle suffix -atus develop into modern French -é? Considering the two following examples: modern French état ("state; status") and été ("been"). Both derives ultimately ...
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221 views

Unde “partes orationis”?

Which prior meaning of pars does pars orationis draw from? I'm wondering if just as the notion of grammatical "person" makes (I think) an analogy with roles in drama (the roles of the speaker, the ...
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152 views

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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163 views

Who first associated μαντεία with μανία?

From Cicero's De Divinatione I.1: Itaque ut alia nos melius multa quam Graeci, sic huic praestantissimae rei nomen nostri a divis, Graeci, ut Plato interpretatur, a furore duxerunt. (My trans.) ...
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Why does 'a' change to 'i' in verbs derived from 'habere'?

The verbs derived from habere usually have an 'i' in the stem rather than an 'a'. For example, adhibere, exhibere, inhibere, and prohibere, leading to the modern English verbs adhibit, exhibit, ...
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Dioscuri and Discord

I'm trying to explore if there is any plausible connection between these words. I find them to be somewhat similar in English, where one might carelessly drop the initial "o". I believe there is ...
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611 views

Did Romans distinguish between black and blue?

Did the Romans distinguish between black and blue? Or, more generally, what do we know about their color system? I was wondering because many of the modern Roman languages use either Arabic or ...
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315 views

Why does “inferus” have /f/ rather than /d/?

I found various sources indicating that the Latin word inferus (or infer) comes from a Proto-Indo-European form like *n̥dʰer, the source of English “under” and Sanskrit adhara, adhas. (The Sanskrit ...
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390 views

Etymology of Otho

Is there a currently accepted etymology for the name Otho? Lewis and Short suggest it comes from the Greek Ὄθων, which I suppose they mean comes from ὄθομαι, but how good is that suggestion? There's ...
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What semantic notions underlie 'octopus or cuttlefish' with 'nasal tumours'?

polyp (n.) c. 1400, "nasal tumor," from Middle French polype and directly from Latin polypus "cuttlefish," also "nasal tumor," from Greek (Doric, Aeolic) polypos "octopus, cuttlefish," ...
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How should particle names ending in -on be treated in Latin?

There are many particle names ending in -on in English: electron, muon, lepton, proton… How should these particle names behave in Latin? My impression is that the electron and the proton came ...
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What semantic notions underlie 'well, pit, shaft' and 'to cut, strike, stamp'?

pit (n.1) "hole, cavity," Old English pytt "water hole, well; pit, grave," from Proto-Germanic *puttjaz "pool, puddle" (source also of Old Frisian pet, Old Saxon putti, Old Norse pyttr, Middle ...
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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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What semantic notions connect “to turn, turn around, roll,” to “bowed, arched”?

[ Etymonline : ] vault (n.1) [...] Latin volutus "bowed, arched," past participle of volvere "to turn, turn around, roll," from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve." [...]
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Is ῥύομαι cognate with rescue?

I couldn't help but wonder, while reading this verse from the Lord's Prayer, whether ῥύομαι might be cognate with the English verb rescue. καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν, ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ...
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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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How does “φωνέω” + “ικός” = φωνητικός

The word "phonetic" has a extra t (phone + ic = phonetic). Etymologically it seems that it is related to ancient Greek morphology and phonology. Where does this extra t come from?
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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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357 views

Why is the supine called “supine”?

I think I understand most Latin grammatical terms in relation to what seems to be their etymology in Latin: cases from nominare, accusare, genus, dare, auferre; tempora from praesens, perfectum; ...
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280 views

Is there any connection between “ave” (as in Ave Cesar) and “aveo”?

Ave, as in Ave Caesar, has the meaning of "hail". Yet, according to Wiktionary, it is also the "second-person singular present imperative of aveō". Now, aveō is a verb which means either "I desire", ...
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107 views

Is there a connection between modus and (adverbial) modo?

Lately I've come to dread coming across the word modo. Is it going to be an adverb meaning "just a moment ago" or "only (this and nothing more)", or a noun for "a way of doing something", "a musical ...
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How do the verbs do and δίδωμι come from *deh₃-?

I was a little surprised to find that the PIE root of do and δίδωμι is *deh₃-, not *do-. How did we get the "o" vowel sound from eh₃? I don't actually know how to pronounce h₃, but I'm assuming that *...
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How did “status quo” get its meaning?

A literal translation of status quo would be, "the state in which". I think this touches on the present-day meaning of the phrase, but I think most would agree that it does not fully capture it. I am ...
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157 views

Are λαλέω and λέγω related?

Every now and then, I'm reminded that λαλέω means "to say or speak", especially when reading the New Testament. It seems possible that λαλέω derives from the same PIE stem as λέγω through ...
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Is there a connection between clivus and clinatus?

Wiktionary suggests that clivus is related to clino and clinatus. But it doesn't explain the connection. Is there some way that n in a verb becomes v in a related noun or adjective? Wiktionary traces ...
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Why does uacuus have three syllables?

I stumbled across this question on the pronunciation of 'vacuum' in the “linguistics” forum. My question is: If uacuus is *wak+wo- why does uacuus have three syllables, but uiuus, paruus, caluus etc. ...
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How are εὔχομαι and voveo cognates?

The verb εὔχομαι means "to pray", and it shows up before the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) as προσεύχεσθε. I was curious to learn more about this word, so of course I looked it up in Wiktionary, and ...
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995 views

What does the suffix -mentum add to a word's meaning?

Lewis and Short lists 275 words ending in -mentum, many of which have come into English: argumentum augmentum documentum fragmentum pigmentum segmentum etc. Wiktionary (cited as an example, not as ...
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Greek & Latin words from ANE languages excluding Biblical Hebrew

Seeing this question made me curious if there's an already-compiled list of words of Ancient Near Eastern origin, hopefully excluding all those borrowed from the Hebrew Bible or other Hebrew/Aramaic ...
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158 views

Translating -ish and -aster endings

There are ways in Latin of expressing less-than-completeness, but I'm intrigued by the strange-ish (!) and allegedly related etymologies given in English dictionaries for these two endings, which are ...
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Could the u in e.g. aufero be related to the u in Mycenaean a-pu-do-ke?

I came across this Mycenaen word when I was trapped in a Wikipaedia chain: the verbal augment is almost entirely absent from Mycenaean Greek with only one known exception, (𐀀𐀟𐀈𐀐), a-pe-do-ke (...
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On Julius Caesar and salmon

I saw a TV documentary today which claimed that salmon was named in Latin by Julius Caesar. It was a side remark, but the narrator elaborated that he saw this fish in Gaul and gave it its name due to ...
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Did 'ᾰ̓κ-ήκο-ᾰ' perhaps come from 'ᾰ̓κο-ᾰκο-ᾰ'? (Greek)

I am trying to fit ᾰ̓κήκοᾰ (active indicative perfect of ᾰ̓κούω, first person singular) to the model of λέλῠκᾰ (active indicative perfect of λῡ́ω, first person singular), wherein the word ...
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Do any Latin verbs use a temporal augment?

In Greek, past tenses are formed with "augmentation," e.g. present -> imperfect: λῡ́ω > ἔλῡον εὑρῐ́σκω > ηὕρῐσκον Since we know that certain Latin verbs preserve perfect reduplication, I wonder: do ...
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246 views

Is there oil without olives?

Is the Latin word oleum ("oil") related to oliva ("olive")? If yes, how? The two words look similar, but oleum does not look like a regular derivative to me. Many dictionaries mention that oleum ...
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183 views

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 ...
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196 views

Why do some words from Latin have an English V and others not?

How did English words like vocal, vision, and victory come to be pronounced with a modern v unlike wine, wall, and worm?
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Etymology of “Fenni” in Tacitus

Tacitus mentions the people Fenni in Germania (46), and this people lived somewhere near modern Finland. I am interested in the etymology of this word. Do we know where Tacitus got the word Fennus? ...
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Origins of the word “hodie”

Hodie is a Latin adverb meaning "today" or "at the present time". I am rather curious as to how this word developed. Was it originally a compound of hōc and diē, which would be translated as "on this ...

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