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Questions tagged [etymology]

The study of the history of words including their origins and the changes they've undergone through time.

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Etymology of the unit “Marc” (German►English)

Friends! First of all, thanks for your time and help. I'm conducting a research on the word "Mark", and before I explain all I know so far, let me tell you: The goal is to trace the ...
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77 views

Idiomatic modifiers that have completely different impact on the same word

I'm thinking about similarly-formed idiomatic constructs like this cluster: 'Put up' - (#1) to allow someone to reside, usually in an ad-hoc temporary manner ('He put up John and I put up Mike; it ...
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Etymological development of forms of Spanish "seguir" from Latin "SEQVI" (*sequire)

I am seeking an explanation for the development of the forms of Spanish "seguir" from Latin "SEQVI" (Vulgar Latin: *sequire), especially the irregular forms. Especially, why did the "e" become "i" in ...
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collection of derivative nouns

I am a researcher in Computational Linguistics. Recently, my research interests led me towards the analysis derivative nouns, specifically nouns derived from other nouns. For example, India to Indian, ...
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155 views

How to practically apply Grimm and Verner's law to english and Spanish

I am a beginner in linguistics and don't know many details about the field of study in general, but, for a beginner, is there anything that shows how english and spanish are related through those laws ...
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186 views

Are these Kazakh words considered borrowings (from Russian?) or onomatopoieias?

These three words are very similar in English, Russian and Kazakh. At least the Russian set is considered inherited from PIE. English - Russian - Kazakh crush - крушить (krushitь) - қырш (qyrsh) ...
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Word ageing: what reliable bibliographical references can be recommended?

I have encountered the notion of "word ageing". Lexemes (unless and until replaced through internal or external innovation) grow older and older, and with time they tend to (1) acquire some additional ...
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158 views

Why were prefixes repeated as postverbal prepositions?

French: s'abstenir de    Spanish: abstenerse de    English: abstain [from] (v.) [<--] late 14c., "to withhold oneself," from Old French abstenir (14c.), earlier astenir (13c.) "hold (...
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780 views

What does the prefix 'ab-' mean in the Latin verb 'abundare' ?

abound (v.) early 14c., from Old French abonder "to abound, be abundant, come together in great numbers" (12c.), from Latin abundare "overflow, run over," from Latin ab- "off" (see ab-) + ...
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76 views

Could "scratch" be derived from the same PIE source as "card" and "chart"?

I found the following entries on Wiktionary (emphasis mine): carte French noun card chart; map menu card English From Middle English carde (“playing card”), from Old French carte, from Latin charta, ...
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What is the origin and meaning of the word/name "Idora"? (Shortened)

I have been researching the word "Idora" for a couple years now in hopes of discovering the meaning as it applies to the defunct trolley park "Idora Park" formerly in Youngstown, Ohio. "Idora Park" ...
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Is there any relation between Sanskrit 'kalam' of Kalamasutra and Arabic 'al-kalam'?

In this text, acknowledged by both Theravada and Mahayana traditions as sacred, Buddha gives his speech to Kalamas. According to the dictionaries, the primal Sanskrit meaning of the word कलम (kalama) ...
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Influences of the origins of the phrase "Mother-fucker"

We should presume that the phrases "fuck your mother", "fuck your mother smelly cunt", "mother-fucking bastard" existed in the Chinese alt-cultural vocabulary for centuries in various dialects, having ...
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What is the etymology of the maghrebi interjection "شاه" (chah)?

At least in the Maghreb, there is a word to say "deserves [somebody] right!", i.e. "!شاه" or "ccah!" in Berber form. I'm struggling to find its etymology. Although it ...
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70 views

How did wið shift to denote association rather than opposition?

Millar doesn't expound the semantic shift at all, but Wiktionary tries to. But wið is a functional morpheme, that at large change with less probability. So why did it shift "to denote association ...
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52 views

Languages or Dialects Wherein Rain/Cloud and Tear/Cry are Cognates

Are there any languages or dialects wherein at least one of the words for rain, (rain)drop, or (rain)cloud is a cognate of at least one the terms for tear(drop) or cry(ing) ? or (rain)clouds are ...
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63 views

How did the romance languages' feminine/masculine genders develop?

How did French, Spanish, Italian, end up with gendered nouns? The Wikipedia page Proto-Indo-European nominals says Originally, there probably were only an animate (masculine/feminine) and an ...
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116 views

How commonly are sheep affiliated with righteousness, uprightness?

羊 (sheep) in Chinese and Japanese that imported this loan word, is the semantic component of 義 (rectitude). Please see this question's title. I'm unschooled in hermeneutics or theology, but I know of ...
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117 views

Origin of the word addiction

I have heard the root of the word addiction is "to be enslaved" but what I'm seeing is "addico" "to be devoted". Is there any truth to "to be enslaved"?
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121 views

Etymology of some personal pronouns in PIE

In PIE we have the following traditionally reconstructed personal pronouns: u̯oe̯ "you two" and u̯ei "we" (inclusive). Brengtson claims that the original forms should be tu̯oe̯ and tu̯ei respectively....
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139 views

What did the PIE prefix *kom- signify in

cumber | Origin and meaning of cumber by Online Etymology Dictionary c. 1300, cumbren, combren, "to overthrow, destroy, probably a shortening of  acombren "obstructing progress," from Old French ...
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179 views

Does "Pictura Mentum" mean anything?

I know that the etymology of the word "pigment" is the Latin verb pingere (to paint) plus the suffix -mentum (instrument used in the accomplishment of the action). I know that the -mentum suffix is ...
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225 views

Hand gesture - Patting

I apologize if the following question is off-topic on this site. Some time ago, I was sitting at a table in a cafeteria/canteen. A few tables away, I saw someone I knew. This person also saw me and ...
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The "plague" and its transmission by "fleas", or "flies"

"fly", Ger "Fliege" (the insect drosophila) could theoretically reflect an earlier *plag. It is linked with "to fly" though, to nobody's surprise. Old English flȳġe, flēoge (“a fly”), from Proto-...

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