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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184 views

How did 'in-' + 'putare' compound to mean 'to attribute, credit to, impute'?

impute (v.): early 15c., from Old French imputer (14c.) and directly from Latin imputare "to reckon, make account of, charge, ascribe," from assimilated form of in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + ...
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In Classical Latin, did the prefix 'de-' in 'deputare' mean anything semantically?

deputy (n.)     c. 1400, "one given the full power of an officer without holding the office," from Anglo-French deputé, noun use of past participle of Middle French députer "appoint, assign" (14c.), ...
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How did 'ad-' + 'rogare' compound to mean <to claim for oneself, assume>?

[ Etymonline : ] arrogance (n.) c. 1300, from Old French arrogance (12c.), from Latin arrogantia, from arrogantem (nominative arrogans) "assuming, overbearing, insolent," present ...
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Why did Romans think of novissimus as last?

In the letter of Plinius to Tacitus about his and his mother's flight, there is the following sentence: multi ad deos manus tollere, plures usquam iam deos ullos aeternamque illam et novissimam ...
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Does 'noel' really have its origin in Latin?

This arises from the question by @brianpck about the meaning of ‘noe’ in the context of Christmas, which he ended with a speculation about noel/nowell being shortened from the Hebrew emmanuel (God is ...
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Why hippopotamus instead of potamohippus?

Judging by this dictionary entry for hippopotamus, the Romans knew this animal and used the name we currently use in English. This word has an obviously Greek origin: hippos is a horse and potamos is ...
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Is angulus a diminutive?

The word angulus (angle or corner) looks like a diminutive. Was it derived from some other word or stem using the diminutive -ulus suffix, or is looking like a diminutive coincidental? It looks like ...
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202 views

How did I misunderstand the Latin 'consisto' in interpreting 'X consists in Y'?

I am trying to understand the English phrase "X consists in Y" with help of and in comparison to the Latin verb consistere. In English, 1 means "X contains Y", but from the Latin point of view ...
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251 views

Mediaeval Latin adopted the Greek word 'grapheus' as '-gravius' (which led to Dutch/German 'graaf/Graf', “count”); where and when did this happen?

Philippa (2003–2009) says about the Dutch word graaf, "count", that it came from Greek grapheus "writer/scribe", through Mediaeval Latin -gravius, "royal administrative ...
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Is “-landia” good Latin?

Several Latin names of modern countries end in -landia if the corresponding English name ends in -land: Islandia, Nederlandia, Irlandia, Thailandia, Finlandia (also Finnia). England has a much older ...
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What underlying semantic notions connect 'rēs' to 'reus'?

Wiktionary asserts the etymon of reus as rēs. But how might have 'rēs' shifted semantically to mean 'reus'? My conjecture: If I ignore the morality and subjectivity of something 'guilty', then one ...
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Are Iulus and Iulius related?

Is there an etymological (and hence historical) relation between Aeneas's son Iulus and Iulius Caesar? Virgil was obviously trying to establish a conexion of blood, be it mythological, between the ...
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What is the origin or significance of “-trio” in “septentrionalis”?

The word septentrionalis "northern" comes from septentriones, cf. Lewis & Short: septentrĭōnes (septemptrĭōnes), um (sing. and tmesis, v. infra), m. [septemtrio; prop. the seven plough-oxen; ...
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Are “sex” and “sexus” etymologically related?

Are sex (the number 6) or sextus (⅙ or ordinal sixth)(From where the English word "sextant" comes.) and sexus (sex or gender) etymologically related?
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773 views

The meaning of common ground in appear/prepare

I have noticed that appear reduces to a Latin parere appear (v.) Look up appear at Dictionary.com late 13c., "to come into view," from stem of Old French aparoir (12c., Modern French apparoir) "...
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Negativus and positivus

When, if ever, did the adjectives negativus and positivus evolve into an antonym pair like the English "negative" and "positive", and how did positivus get this meaning? Deriving negativus from the ...
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Are pro and prae etymologically related?

Pro and prae are somewhat similar in meaning and form. De Vaan isn't clear about whether they are related; he mentions Proto-Indo-European roots *proH or *pro, and *pre-h2i, respectively. Could it be ...
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Is cultura a future participle?

Some nouns derived from verbs look like future participles: cultura from colere, sepultura from sepelire, scriptura from scribere… These do not have a future meaning, but are merely names for ...
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Where did the missing forms of nemo go?

The pronoun nemo is usually said to have only nominative, accusative and dative forms (nemo, neminem, nemini). The other forms, including plural, are easy to form, since nemo seems to come from ne+...
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Origins of the expression “mea culpa”?

What are the origins of the expression "mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa". I have heard one of my past math professors say this, and was wondering. Thanks.
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How to describe ministers in Latin?

I want to talk about different ministers in a government in Latin. Minister and ministra are good words for a minister, but how to say "minister of justice and employment" and "minister of economic ...
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What semantic notions underlie the Latin 'quartus' & the French « écarter »?

[ CNRTL : ] Empr.[unt] au lat[in] *exquartare, dér.[ivé] du lat[in] class[ique] quartus « quart ». Wiktionary states the same etymology: how does the Numeral Adjective 4 in Latin semantically ...
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Who invented the common expression “et cetera”?

This question seems to assume that the Romans actually used et cetera as we do. But did they really? By that, I mean: did they use et cetera at the end of a clause or phrase, without any noun agreeing ...
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What is the Latin etymon of 'que' in the French « ne … que »?

I am still trying to understand the etymology of the French adverbial 'ne que', and so researched the Latin etymons of these two Functional Morphemes for more sapience. This question concerns only the ...
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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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Are the two cums related?

In short, is there a relation between the preposition cum and the conjunction cum? It makes some sense that the conjunction would come from the preposition. One could interpret some cum clauses so ...
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What underlying semantic notions explain the etymology of 'fustis'?

I already consulted Etymonline and Wiktionary. Source: p 56. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories (1991).   Another word that has undergone a similar development is fustian. In its ...
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What underlying semantic notions explain 'quotus' in 'quotidianus'?

[ Wiktionary : ]  [...]  Latin cottīdiānus, quōtīdiānus ‎(“happening every day”), from adverb cottīdiē, quōtīdiē ‎(“every day, daily”), from an unattested adjective derived from quot ‎(“how many”) + ...
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Relation of cuncti and cunctare?

I know the word cuncti/ae/a means "all", but then I came across the word cunctare or cunctari, alternatively, which means "to hesitate". Do these two words share a common etymology to some extent?
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Generic use of Italian “fare”: analogue in Latin?

The Italian word "fare" is often used in a very generic way. English doesn't use "do" or "make" that much, but it can still be a good comparison. Let me give some examples. We may say "fare Greco" ("...
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How did 'ad' + 'hūc' compound to mean 'furthermore; moreover; besides'? [duplicate]

[ Adverb   adhūc : ]   Etymology     ad "to" + hūc "here" so far, thus far, hitherto, still [2.1] again; [2.2] furthermore; [2.3] moreover; [2.4] besides (used in scholastic debates to ...
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How did 'ad' + 'hūc' compound to mean 'so far, thus far, hitherto, still'? [duplicate]

[ Adverb   adhūc : ]   Etymology     ad "to" + hūc "here" so far, thus far, hitherto, still [2.1] again; [2.2] furthermore; [2.3] moreover; [2.4] besides (used in scholastic debates to ...
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What underlying semantic notions connect the Latin for '(from then) to this hour' to the French « encore »?

[ CNRTL : ] Du lat[in] vulg[aire] *hinc ha (c) hora ou *hinc ad horam; la forme a[ncienne] fr[ançaise] uncore, oncore est due à l'infl[uence] de onque, onc*. This thread redirects you to the ...
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The word “pseudonymum”

I am looking for a Latin word for "pseudonym". My (Finnish–Latin–Finnish) dictionary gives the translation pseudōnymum. However, this word seems to be absent in Lewis & Short, ...
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sc. and viz. : Why need a reader license to know and see?

Etymologically, per Wikipedia, from which I excerpt the following but whose links I omit: Viz. is an abbreviation of videlicet, which itself is a contraction from Latin of videre licet meaning "...
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What underlying semantic notions connect 'involvō' to mean 'entail'?

Source: p 175, Introducing Philosophy for Canadians: A Text with Integrated Readings (2011 1 ed). [...]  "essentia involvit existentiam" [essence entails existence]. Wiktionary (and the Lewis &...
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What underlying semantic notions connect the stem '-festus' to the PIE root *gu̯hedh- ('to ask, beg, wish for')?

Pokorny Etymon: gu̯hedh- 'to ask, beg, wish for' Semantic Field(s): to Ask, Request, to Will, Wish [...] Italic Latin:   -festus   [suffix]   hit   W7 What semantic notions underlie 'hit' ...
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How did 'praeter-' + 'mitto' compound to generate 'praetermitto'?

[ Wiktionary : ] Etymology From praeter- +‎ mitto The polyfunctionality of praeter- and polysemy of mitto complicates the determination of the most probable semantic shift (though I can conjecture a ...
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How did mundus come to mean both world and clean?

Basically what's in the title: How did mundus come to mean both world and clean? L&S lists a number of other meanings, but in my knowledge these are two very frequent uses, that do not seem to ...
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Why are the words for “children” (liberi) and “book” (libri) so similar?

While working in class, I came across this. They have a similar spelling, yet mean completely different things. Is this just random or does it have an actual purpose in the Latin language? Book = ...
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Does the “re” in emails have an ancient origin?

The Latin ablative re has become a word in English, meaning "regarding" or "with reference to" or something along those lines. This is also used in emails as an automatically generated prefix "Re:&...
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What underlying semantic notions connect 'mēnsa' to the PIE *me-?

[U Texas :] Pokorny Etymon: 3. mē-, m-e-t- 'to measure' Semantic Field: to Measure [...]   Italic:   Latin:   mēnsa [ Wiktionary : ] a table a table of food; meal, course, ...
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Is there a (cultural, religious etc?) reason, why equus and aequus are nearly homophones?

Equus: (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈe.kʷus/, [ˈɛ.kʷʊs] Aequus: (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈae̯.kʷus/, [ˈae̯.kʷʊs] Is this similarity coincidental or do they have a common origin? Are there any specific ...
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What is the semantic field of 'cȳma'?

[ Wiktionary : ] Etymology From the Ancient Greek κῦμα ‎(kûma), from κύω ‎(kúō, “I am pregnant, I conceive”). *κυμαί ‎(*kumaí), the first-declension nominative plural form which would give ...
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Why is there an “o” in “controversus”?

Apparently, contrōversus comes from the preposition contrā- + versus. So why does it have "ō" instead of "ā"? I checked Lewis and Short, but it doesn't explain the development of this vowel. I also ...
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Etymology of English words “mother” and “father”

Usually, it's easy to tell whether a word has Latin or German ancestry. Water ("wasser") clearly comes from German, whereas aquatic ("aqua") clearly comes from Latin. But what's harder for me to tell,...
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What did the prefix 'de' mean in: de- + lacere?

[ Etymonline : ]  [...]  from Late Latin deliciosus "delicious, delicate," from Latin delicia (plural deliciae) "a delight, allurement, charm," from delicere "to allure, entice," from de- "away" (...
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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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What is the origin of the 3rd-person plural perfect ending “-ēre”?

Laudavēre is an (apparently older) alternative to laudaverunt. What is the origin of this ending? Is it connected with any other known endings or affixes? Clackson & Horrocks say it is from an ...
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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 ...

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