Saturday, July 18, 2009

Catherine H: Etymologies 10-12

Source: Online Etymology Dictionary
1586, "expressing lofty ideas in an elevated manner," from M.Fr. sublime, from L. sublimis "uplifted, high, lofty," possibly originally "sloping up to the lintel," from sub "up to" + limen "lintel." The sublime "the sublime part of anything" is from 1679. Sublime Porte, former title of the Ottoman government, is from Fr. la Sublime Porte, lit. "the high gate," a loan-translation of Arabic Bab 'Ali, title of the Ottoman court at Constantinople

1390, "process of purifying by heating into a vapor," from M.L. sublimationem (nom. sublimatio) "refinement," lit. "a lifting up, deliverance," from L. sublimare "to raise, elevate," from sublimis "lofty" Psychological sense is first recorded 1910, probably influenced by subliminal.

"anticlimax, a descent from the sublime to the ridiculous," 1727, from Gk. bathos "depth," related to bathys "deep;" introduced by Pope. Bathetic (1834) is either erroneously or humorously formed on the model of pathetic.

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