Skip to main content

Questions tagged [etymology]

For questions about etymology: the history of words in Latin or the change in meaning as the words are loaned into another language.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
7 votes
0 answers
524 views

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 ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
279 views

How did 'folding' semantically shift to mean 'repeat'?

Etymonline proclaims that replicare "to repeat, reply," literally "to fold back," originates from re- "back, again" (see re-) + plicare "to fold" (from PIE root *plek- "to plait") What ...
user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
121 views

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: ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.5k
1 vote
1 answer
149 views

Explanatory and Etymological dictionary of the Latin Language

With the term explanatory I am translating ερμηνευτικό. A dictionary which defines words comprehensively and clearly. If one considers Oxford University to be the authority on the English language ...
George Ntoulos's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
195 views

"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 ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
78 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 ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.5k
7 votes
1 answer
316 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 ...
Penelope's user avatar
  • 8,711
3 votes
2 answers
199 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 ...
inde3d's user avatar
  • 31
5 votes
2 answers
282 views

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, ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.5k
6 votes
1 answer
172 views

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-...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
219 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 ...
MickG's user avatar
  • 3,275
2 votes
0 answers
54 views

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 ...
grandtout's user avatar
  • 121
0 votes
1 answer
110 views

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'...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
674 views

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,” ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
553 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 ...
vectory's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
659 views

'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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
142 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 ...
user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
81 views

What semantic notions connect '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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
145 views

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 *...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
dotancohen's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
148 views

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 (“...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
75 views

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?
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
61 views

'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-) ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
135 views

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?
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
542 views

Does "aurea" have the second meaning?

Does "aurea" have the second meaning? According to Latin Word Study Tool, aurea doesn't mean "the bridle of a horse" in the following context in my opinion: "trecenta quoque ...
user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
464 views

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.-...
Mitch's user avatar
  • 727
1 vote
1 answer
523 views

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 ...
Devi Nostrum's user avatar
8 votes
0 answers
220 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 ...
luchonacho's user avatar
  • 12.5k
2 votes
3 answers
176 views

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 ...
Geremia's user avatar
  • 3,700
3 votes
3 answers
340 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)?
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
224 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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
56 views

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") ...
user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
138 views

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 ...
Michael Stallone's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
109 views

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 (...
Michael Stallone's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
291 views

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
Michael Stallone's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
369 views

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 ...
Michael Stallone's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
178 views

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.
Michael Stallone's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
190 views

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....
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.5k
2 votes
2 answers
96 views

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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
95 views

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) ...
user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
34 views

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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
410 views

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 "...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
125 views

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 ...
Lightheart's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
631 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 ...
luchonacho's user avatar
  • 12.5k
6 votes
2 answers
600 views

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 ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.5k
5 votes
1 answer
529 views

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. ...
brianpck's user avatar
  • 41.7k
7 votes
1 answer
322 views

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?
Nickimite's user avatar
  • 2,953
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

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. ...
Stumbler's user avatar
  • 183
25 votes
5 answers
44k views

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" ...
luchonacho's user avatar
  • 12.5k
8 votes
1 answer
281 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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 68.1k

1
3 4
5
6 7
11