Word Origins

By John Ayto

The common modern English speaker understands 50,000 phrases. but stripped all the way down to its origins, this it appears large vocabulary is actually a lot smaller, derived from Latin, French and the Germanic languages. it truly is envisioned that each yr, 800 neologisms are extra to the English language: acronyms (nimby), combined phrases (motel), and people taken from overseas languages (savoir-faire). specified by an A-Z layout with exact pass references, and written in a mode that's either authoritative and available, note Origins is a invaluable historic advisor to the English language.

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Most sensible, higher WordOrigins. fm web page sixty nine Thursday, August eleven, 2005 1:58 PM sixty nine boss sales space [12] In universal with quite a lot of [17]. it can have come from outdated Norse bára ‘wave’. sales space different English phrases, together with bower and the -bour of neighbour, sales space comes finally from the Germanic base *bū- ‘dwell’. From this resource got here the East Norse verb bóa ‘dwell’ (whose current participle produced English bond and the -band of husband); addition of the suffix -th produced the unrecorded noun bóth. ‘dwelling’, which got here into center English as bōth. ‘ PERFORATE, PHARYNX born [OE] The outdated English prior participle of the born verb that means ‘bear’ used to be boren. through center English occasions this had develop into reduced in size to born(e), yet no contrast in that means used to be made at the foundation of spelling. This didn't turn up until eventually round 1600, considering while born has turn into tested because the obstetric orthography, whereas borne is still the easy earlier participle of undergo ‘carry’. ‘ BE, BOOR, BOWER, HUSBAND, NEIGHBOUR booty [15] Booty has no reference to boots. booty It got here into English as butin (it didn't eventually lose its n until eventually the 18th century), a borrowing from previous French butin, yet previous French had acquired it from center Low German būte ‘exchange’ (whence German beute and Dutch buit ‘loot’), pointing to a prehistoric Germanic resource *būtiōn. ‘ undergo borough [OE] Borough (Old English burg or borough burh) comes from Germanic *burgs ‘fortress’ (whence additionally German burg ‘castle, stronghold’). It used to be a by-product of the bottom *burg- ‘protect’ (whence additionally bury), a variation of *berg- (source of English barrow ‘mound’ and German berg ‘mountain’) and *borg- (source of English borrow). At a while throughout the prehistoric Germanic interval a development in that means started to ensue from ‘fortress’ (which had mostly died out in English via 1000), via ‘fortified town’, to easily ‘town’. Romance languages borrowed the notice, giving for example French bourg, from which English will get burgess [13] and bourgeois [16]. Burrow [13] is maybe a version shape. ‘ FILIBUSTER, FREEBOOTER booze [13] This note turns out to were booze borrowed on certain and greatly separate events from heart Dutch būsen ‘drink a lot alcohol’ (which a few have attached with heart excessive German būs ‘swelling’). within the thirteenth century this gave center English bouse, which if it had persisted to the current day may have rhymed with the verb residence. despite the fact that, within the sixteenth century the center Dutch observe used to be reborrowed, giving glossy English booze. borage [13] The plant-name borage comes through previous French bourrache from Latin borrāgo. a variety of phrases were complicated as an final resource, together with overdue Latin burra ‘shaggy cloth’, as a result of its bushy leaves, yet in view of the truth that the Arabs used the plant medicinally to urge sweating, the likeliest contender is Arabic abū ‘āraq, actually ‘father of sweat’. border [14] English got border from outdated French bordure. This got here from the typical Romance verb *bordāre ‘border’, which was once according to *bordus ‘edge’, a note of Germanic beginning whose resource, *borthaz, was once just like that of English board within the feel ‘side of a ship’.

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