Friday, July 17, 2009

Beth Ohlsson - etmology 1-14

1. myth–noun
1830, from Gk. mythos "speech, thought, story, myth," of unknown origin.

Myths are "stories about divine beings, generally arranged in a coherent system; they are revered as true and sacred; they are endorsed by rulers and priests; and closely linked to religion. Once this link is broken, and the actors in the story are not regarded as gods but as human heroes, giants or fairies, it is no longer a myth but a folktale. Where the central actor is divine but the story is trivial ... the result is religious legend, not myth." [J. Simpson & S. Roud, "Dictionary of English Folklore," Oxford, 2000, p.254]
2. legend c.1340, from O.Fr. legende (12c.), from M.L. legenda "legend, story," lit. "(things) to be read," on certain days in church, etc., from neuter plural gerundive of L. legere "to read, gather, select" (see lecture). Used originally of saints' lives; extended sense of "nonhistorical or mythical story" first recorded 1613. Meaning "writing or inscription"

3. genre 1770, from Fr. genre "kind, sort, style," from O.Fr. (see gender). Used especially in Fr. for "independent style," as compared to "landscape, historical," etc.

4. concert (n.) 1665, from Fr., from It. concerto "concert, harmony," from concertare "bring into agreement," in L. "to contend, contest," from com- "with" + certare "to contend, strive," freq. of certus, var. pp. of cernere "separate, decide" (see crisis). Before the word entered Eng., meaning shifted from "to strive against" to "to strive alongside." But Klein considers this too much of a stretch and suggests L. concentare "to sing together" (from con- + cantare "to sing") as the source of the It. word. Sense of "public musical performance" is 1689. Concerto was borrowed 1730 directly from It. as a musical term.

5. focus 1644, from L. focus "hearth, fireplace," of unknown origin, used in post-classical times for "fire" itself, taken by Kepler (1604) in a mathematical sense for "point of convergence," perhaps on analogy of the burning point of a lens (the purely optical sense of the word may have existed before 1604, but it is not recorded). Introduced into English 1656 by Hobbes. Sense transfer to "center of activity or energy" is first recorded 1796. The verb is first attested 1814 in the literal sense; the fig. sense is recorded earlier (1807).

6. caricature: 1748, from Fr. caricature, from It. caricatura "satirical picture," lit. "an overloading," from caricare "to load, exaggerate," from V.L. carricare (see charge). The It. form had been used in Eng. from c.1682.

charge :
c.1225, from O.Fr. chargier "load, burden," from L.L. carricare "to load a wagon, cart," from L. carrus "wagon" (see car). Meaning "responsibility, burden" is c.1340 (cf. take charge, 1389; in charge, 1513), which progressed to "pecuniary burden, cost" (1460), and then to "price demanded for service or goods" (1514). Legal sense of "accusation" is 1477; earlier "injunction, order" (1380s). Sense of "rush in to attack" is 1568, perhaps through earlier meaning of "load a weapon" (1541). Electrical sense is from 1767. Slang meaning "thrill, kick" (Amer.Eng.) is from 1951. Charger "horse ridden by officer in the field" is from 1762. Chargé d'affairs was borrowed from Fr. 1767.

7. Tradition: c.1380, from O.Fr. tradicion (1292), from L. traditionem (nom. traditio) "delivery, surrender, a handing down," from traditus, pp. of tradere "deliver, hand over," from trans- "over" + dare "to give" (see date (1)). The word is a doublet of treason (q.v.). The notion in the modern sense of the word is of things "handed down" from generation to generation. Traditional is recorded from c.1600; in ref. to jazz, from 1950. Slang trad, short for trad(itional jazz) is recorded from 1956; its general use for "traditional" is recorded from 1963.

8. Dialogue: c.1225, "literary work consisting of a conversation between two or more people," from O.Fr. dialoge, from L. dialogus, from Gk. dialogos, related to dialogesthai "converse," from dia- "across" + legein "speak" (see lecture). Sense broadened to "a conversation" 1401. Mistaken belief that it can only mean "conversation between two persons" is from confusion of dia- and di-.

U s a g e N o t e : I n r e c e n t y e a r s t h e v e r b s e n s e o f d i a l o g u e m e a n i n g " t o e n g a g e i n a n i n f o r m a l e x c h a n g e o f v i e w s " h a s b e e n r e v i v e d , p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o c o m m u n i c a t i o n b e t w e e n p a r t i e s i n i n s t i t u t i o n a l o r p o l i t i c a l c o n t e x t s . A l t h o u g h S h a k e s p e a r e , C o l e r i d g e , a n d C a r l y l e u s e d i t , t h i s u s a g e t o d a y i s w i d e l y r e g a r d e d a s j a r g o n o r b u r e a u c r a t e s e . N i n e t y - e i g h t p e r c e n t o f t h e U s a g e P a n e l r e j e c t s t h e s e n t e n c e C r i t i c s h a v e c h a r g e d t h a t t h e d e p a r t m e n t w a s r e m i s s i n n o t t r y i n g t o d i a l o g u e w i t h r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f t h e c o m m u n i t y b e f o r e h i r i n g t h e n e w o f f i c e r s .

9. Rhythm: c.1557, from L. rhythmus "movement in time," from Gk. rhythmos "measured flow or movement, rhythm," related to rhein "to flow," from PIE base *sreu- "to flow" (see rheum). In M.L., rithmus was used for accentual, as opposed to quantitative, verse, and accentual verse was usually rhymed. Rhythm method of birth control attested from 1940. Rhythm and blues, U.S. music style, is from 1949.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

10. Timbre: "characteristic quality of a musical sound," 1849, from Fr. timbre "quality of a sound," earlier "sound of a bell," from O.Fr., "bell without a clapper," originally "drum," probably via Medieval Gk. *timbanon, from Gk. tympanon "kettledrum" (see tympanum). Timbre was used in O.Fr. (13c.) and M.E. (14c.) to render L. tympanum in Ps. 150.

11. Pace " a s t e p , " c . 1 2 8 0 , f r o m O . F r . p a s , f r o m L . p a s s u s " a s t e p , " l i t . p p . o f p a n d e r e " t o s t r e t c h ( t h e l e g ) , s p r e a d o u t , " f r o m P I E * p a t - n o - , f r o m b a s e * p e t e - " t o s p r e a d " ( c f . G k . p e t a l o n " a l e a f , " O . E . f Ê m " e m b r a c e , b o s o m , f a t h o m " ) . T h e v e r b i s f i r s t a t t e s t e d 1 5 1 3 , f r o m t h e n o u n . A l s o , " a m e a s u r e o f f i v e f e e t " [ J o h n s o n ] . P a c e - m a k e r w a s o r i g i n a l l y ( 1 8 8 4 ) a r i d e r o r b o a t t h a t s e t s t h e p a c e f o r o t h e r s i n t r a i n i n g ; s e n s e o f " m a n - m a d e d e v i c e f o r s t i m u l a t i n g a n d r e g u l a t i n g h e a r t b e a t " i s f r o m 1 9 5 1 . P a c e - s e t t e r i n f a s h i o n i s f r o m 1 8 9 5 .

12. olio O r i g i n : Spanish. 1 6 3 5 4 5 ; < S p o l l a p o t , s t e w < L o l l a , M l a p o t , j a r
a dish of many ingredients; a mixture of heterogeneous elements; hodgepodge.
a medley or potpourri, as of musical or literary selections; miscellany.

13. Dialect: 1577, from M.Fr. dialecte, from L. dialectus "local language, way of speaking, conversation," from Gk. dialektos, from dialegesthai "converse with each other," from dia- "across, between" + legein "speak" (see lecture).

14. Damsel: 1199, from O.Fr. dameisele, modified by association with dame from earlier donsele, from Gallo-Romance *domnicella, dim. of L. domina "lady" (see dame). Archaic until revived by romantic poets, along with 16c.-17c. variant form damozel.

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