Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

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goofy
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Re: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.

Postby goofy » Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:00 pm UTC

Emu* wrote:more vowels, surely: a,e,i,o,u,w,y... and occasionally h for grammatical purposes.


My dialect of English has 15 vowels. Welsh has about 13.

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Rinsaikeru
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Re: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.

Postby Rinsaikeru » Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

I've got one that came up the other day.

"Drive me spare" I can get simple etymologies and definitions for all of the components--but I can't really sort out why spare can be taken to mean mad here.
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goofy
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Re: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.

Postby goofy » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:21 pm UTC

Rinsaikeru wrote:I've got one that came up the other day.

"Drive me spare" I can get simple etymologies and definitions for all of the components--but I can't really sort out why spare can be taken to mean mad here.


From the OED
spare: "Not in actual or regular use at the time spoken of, but carried, held, or kept in reserve for future use or to supply an emergency" -> "Of persons: off-duty, idle. Also, useless, superfluous." -> "Phr. to go spare: (a) to be unemployed; (b) to become infuriated or distraught."

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Rinsaikeru
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Re: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.

Postby Rinsaikeru » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:29 pm UTC

I really need to get the OED, thanks for that.
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She
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Re: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.

Postby She » Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:56 pm UTC

I have a question that several English and Swedish teachers have failed to answer.
The words fascination and fascism sound like they have something in common. But DO THEY? I can't see what this would be. Fascism I have learned comes from some word for a bundle, meaning here the group that holds together or something. But fascination? It just seemes unlikely that the "fasci-" sort of appears twice, spontaneously and separately.
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Re: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.

Postby Bobber » Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:32 pm UTC

She wrote:I have a question that several English and Swedish teachers have failed to answer.
The words fascination and fascism sound like they have something in common. But DO THEY? I can't see what this would be. Fascism I have learned comes from some word for a bundle, meaning here the group that holds together or something. But fascination? It just seemes unlikely that the "fasci-" sort of appears twice, spontaneously and separately.


Fascist has pretty much the same origin as Nazi - from the name of a political party. Namely the "partito nazionale fascista". The party got the last part of their name from the Italian word "fascio", meaning "group" or "association".

Fascinate, however, was first seen in use as early as 1598, where it had the meaning "to bewitch" or "enchant".
This came from the Middle French "fasciner", which in turn came from Latin "fascinatus" or "fascinare" where it had the same meaning. That word came from the Latin word for "spell" or "witchcraft": "fascinus". This word is of uncertain origin, but it might've come from some Greek word.

Also, you have to remember that "Fascism" is pronounced /fæʃɪzəm/ (Fashism), while "fascinate" is pronounced /ˈfæsəˌneɪt/ (fasinate). So they are more different than you'd think!

Sorce of etymologies: http://etymonline.com
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goofy
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Re: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.

Postby goofy » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:39 am UTC

She wrote:I have a question that several English and Swedish teachers have failed to answer.
The words fascination and fascism sound like they have something in common. But DO THEY? I can't see what this would be. Fascism I have learned comes from some word for a bundle, meaning here the group that holds together or something. But fascination? It just seemes unlikely that the "fasci-" sort of appears twice, spontaneously and separately.


The two words are possibly related according to the American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots. Presumably Latin fascis "bundle" -> fascinum "phallic shaped amulet, evil spell" -> fascināre "cast a spell on". This is by no means certain.

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She
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Re: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.

Postby She » Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:58 pm UTC

Oh, I thought they were pronounciated the same way. They are in Swedish, anyway.
Thanks. I guess I'll just have to accept that the -asci- is not that rare in latin languages.
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goofy
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Re: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.

Postby goofy » Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:48 pm UTC

She wrote:Oh, I thought they were pronounciated the same way. They are in Swedish, anyway.
Thanks. I guess I'll just have to accept that the -asci- is not that rare in latin languages.


They were probably pronounced the same way in Latin.

Proto-Indo-European had a suffix *sḱe/o- which is found in Latin words like rubescere "to grow red" and poscit "asks", but apparently it is not the source of the -sc- in fascis.


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