Thursday, July 23, 2009

Debbie & More Etymologies (11-25)

Here are some more etymologies
that are relevant
in my world of storytelling!

11. LIBRARY - 1374, from Anglo-Fr. librarie, from O.Fr. librairie "collection of books," noun use of adj. librarius "concerning books," from L. librarium "chest for books," from liber (gen. libri) "book, paper, parchment," originally "the inner bark of trees," probably a derivative of PIE base *leub(h)- "to strip, to peel" (see leaf). The equivalent word in most Romance languages now means "bookseller's shop." Librarian is from 1713; earlier form was library-keeper (1647).

12. SCHOOL - "place of instruction," O.E. scol, from L. schola, from Gk. skhole "school, lecture, discussion," also "leisure, spare time," originally "a holding back, a keeping clear," from skhein "to get" + -ole by analogy with bole "a throw," stole "outfit," etc. The original notion is "leisure," which passed to "otiose discussion," then "place for such." The PIE base is *segh- "to hold, hold in one's power, to have" (see scheme). The L. word was widely borrowed, cf. O.Fr. escole, Fr. école, Sp. escuela, It. scuola, O.H.G. scuola, Ger. Schule, Swed. skola, Gael. sgiol, Welsh ysgol, Rus. shkola. Replaced O.E. larhus "lore house." Meaning "students attending a school" is attested from c.1300; sense of "school building" is first recorded c.1590. Sense of "people united by a general similarity of principles and methods" is from 1612; hence school of thought (1864). The verb is attested from 1573. School of hard knocks "rough experience in life" is recorded from 1912 (in George Ade); to tell tales out of school "betray damaging secrets" is from 1546. Schoolmarm is attested from 1831, U.S. colloquial; used figuratively for "patronizingly and priggishly instructing" from 1887.

13. BOOK - O.E. boc, traditionally from P.Gmc. *bokiz "beech" (cf. Ger. Buch "book" Buche "beech;" the notion being of beechwood tablets on which runes were inscribed), but may be from the tree itself (people still carve initials in them). The O.E. originally meant any written document. Latin and Sanskrit also have words for "writing" that are based on tree names ("birch" and "ash," respectively). Meaning "libretto of an opera" is from 1768. Verb meaning "to enter for a seat or place, issue (railway) tickets" is from 1841; "to engage a performer as a guest" is from 1872. Booklet, with dim. suffix, first recorded 1859. A betting book is from 1856; bookmaker in the wagering sense is from 1862; shortened form bookie is attested from 1885.

14. LISTEN - O.E. hlysnan "to listen," from P.Gmc. *khlusinon (cf. O.H.G. hlosen "to listen," Ger. lauschen "to listen"), from PIE base *kleu- "hearing, to hear" (cf. Skt. srnoti "hears," srosati "hears, obeys;" Avestan sraothra "ear;" M.Pers. srod "hearing, sound;" Lith. klausau "to hear," slove "splendor, honor;" O.C.S. slusati "to hear," slava "fame, glory," slovo "word;" Gk. klyo "hear, be called," kleos "report, rumor, fame glory," kleio "make famous;" L. cluere "to hear oneself called, be spoken of;" O.Ir. ro-clui-nethar "hears," clunim "I hear," clu "fame, glory," cluada "ears;" Welsh clywaf "I hear;" O.E. hlud "loud," hleoðor "tone, tune;" O.H.G. hlut "sound;" Goth. hiluþ "listening, attention"). The -t- probably is by influence of O.E. hlystan (see list (v.2)). For vowel evolution, see bury.

15. RADIO - "wireless transmission with radio waves," 1907, abstracted from earlier combinations such as radiophone (1881) and radio-telegraphy (1898), from radio-, comb. form of radiation (q.v.). Use for "radio receiver" is first attested 1917; sense of "sound broadcasting as a medium" is from 1922. Wireless remained more widespread until World War II, when military preference for radio turned the tables. The verb is attested from 1919.

16. PRODUCER - 1499, from L. producere "lead or bring forth, draw out," from pro- "forth" + ducere "to bring, lead" (see duke). Originally "extend," sense of "bring into being" is first recorded 1513; that of "to put (a play) on stage" is from 1585. The noun, "thing or things produced," is 1695, from the verb, and was originally accented like it. Specific sense of "agricultural productions" (as distinguished from manufactured goods) is from 1745. Producer is from 1513 in sense of "one who produces;" specifically of dramatic performances, etc., from 1891. In political economy sense, opposed to consumer from 1784 (first in Adam Smith).

17. NAVIGATOR - 1590, "one who navigates," from L. navigator "sailor," from navigatus (see navigation). Meaning "laborer employed in excavating a canal" is 1775, from sense in inland navigation "communication by canals and rivers" (1727).

18. HAPPY - 1340, "lucky," from hap "chance, fortune" (see haphazard), sense of "very glad" first recorded c.1390. Ousted O.E. eadig (from ead "wealth, riches") and gesælig, which has become silly. O.E. bliðe "happy" survives as blithe. From Gk. to Ir., a great majority of the European words for "happy" at first meant "lucky." An exception is Welsh, where the word used first meant "wise." Used in World War II and after as a suffix (e.g. bomb-happy, flak-happy) expressing "dazed or frazzled from stress." Happiness is first recorded 1530. Happy hour "early evening period of discount drinks and free hors-d'oeuvres at a bar" is first recorded 1961. Happy-go-lucky is from 1672. Happy as a clam (1636) was originally happy as a clam in the mud at high tide, when it can't be dug up and eaten.

19. QUEEN - O.E. cwen "queen, female ruler of a state, woman, wife," from P.Gmc. *kwoeniz, ablaut variant of *kwenon (source of quean), from PIE *gwen- "woman, wife" supposedly originally "honored woman" (cf. Greek gyné "a woman, a wife;" Gaelic bean "woman;" Skt. janis "a woman," gná "wife of a god, a goddess;" Avestan jainish "wife;" Armenian kin "woman;" O.C.S. zena, O.Pruss. genna "woman;" Goth. qino "a woman, wife; qéns "a queen"). English seems unique in I.E. in having a word for "queen" that is not a fem. derivative of the one for "king." The original sense seems to have been "wife," specialized by O.E. to "wife of a king." Used of chess piece from 1440, of playing card from 1575. Of bees from 1609 (until late 17c., they generally were thought to be kings; cf. "Henry V," I.ii). Meaning "male homosexual" (especially a feminine and ostentatious one) first recorded 1924; probably an alteration of quean in this sense. Queens, the New York borough, was named for Catherine of Braganza, queen of English King Charles II. Queen Anne first used 1878 for "style characteristic of the time of Queen Anne of Great Britain and Ireland," who reigned 1702-14.

20. KING - O.E. cyning, from P.Gmc. *kuninggaz (cf. Du. koning, O.H.G. kuning, O.N. konungr, Dan. konge, Ger. könig). Possibly related to O.E. cynn "family, race" (see kin), making a king originally a "leader of the people;" or from a related root suggesting "noble birth," making a king originally "one who descended from noble birth." The sociological and ideological implications make this a topic of much debate. Finnish kuningas "king," O.C.S. kunegu "prince" (Rus. knyaz, Boh. knez), Lith. kunigas "clergyman" are loans from Gmc. In O.E., used for names of chiefs of Anglian and Saxon tribes or clans, then of the states they founded. Also extended to British and Danish chiefs they fought. The chess piece so called from 1411; the playing card from 1563; use in checkers/draughts first recorded 1820. Applied in nature to species deemed remarkably big or dominant (e.g. king crab, 1698),
"As leon is the king of bestes." [John Gower, "Confessio Amantis," 1390]Kingfisher (1440) was originally king's fisher, for obscure reasons. Kingdom-come "the next world" (1785) is from the Lord's Prayer. The film "King Kong" was released 1933.

21. PRINCESS - 1380, from O.Fr. princesse, fem. of prince (q.v.). As a colloquial form of address to a woman or girl, it is recorded from 1924.

22. FROG - O.E. frogga, a dim. of frox, forsc, frosc "frog," from P.Gmc. *fruska-z (cf. O.N. froskr, M.Du. vorsc, Ger. Frosch "frog"), probably lit. "hopper" (cf. Skt. provate "hops," Rus. prygat "to hop, jump"). The L. word (rana) is imitative of croaking. As a derogatory term for "Frenchman," 1778 (short for frog-eater), but before that (1652) it meant "Dutch" (from frog-land "marshy land"). To have a frog in the throat "hoarseness" is from 1909. Frogman "scuba diver in rubber suit" is from 1945. Frog-march (1871) originated among London police and referred to their method of moving "a drunken or refractory prisoner" by carrying him face-down between four people, each holding a limb; the connection with frog perhaps being the notion of going along belly-down. By the 1930s, the verb was used in ref. to the much more efficient (but less frog-like) method of getting someone in an arm-behind-the-back hold and hustling him or her along like that.

23. IMAGINE - 1340, "to form a mental image of," from O.Fr. imaginer, from L. imaginari "to form a mental picture to oneself, imagine" (also, in L.L. imaginare "to form an image of, represent"), from imago (see image). Sense of "suppose" is first recorded c.1380. Imaginary "not real" is from 1382 (ymaginaire). First record of imagination "faculty of the mind which forms and manipulates images" is from c.1340 (ymaginacion). Imaginative first attested c.1386 (ymaginatyf).

24. CHILD - O.E. cild "child," from P.Gmc. *kiltham (source of Gothic kilþei "womb"), unrelated to other languages. Also in O.E. meaning "a youth of gentle birth" (archaic, usually written childe). In 16c., especially "girl child." The difficulty with the plural began in O.E., where the nom. pl. was at first cild, identical with the sing., then c.975 pl. form cildru (gen. cildra) arose, only to be re-pluraled c.1175 as children, which is thus a double plural. M.E. plural cildre survives in Lancashire dialect childer and in Childermas (c.1000) "festival of the Holy Innocents" (Dec. 28). Childhood is O.E. cildhad; childish is O.E. cildisc; childlike (a good-sense variant) is first attested 1586.

25. AUDIENCE - 1374, "the action of hearing," from O.Fr. audience, from L. audentia "a hearing, listening," from audientum (nom. audiens), prp. of audire "to hear," from PIE compound *au-dh- "to perceive physically, grasp," from base *au- "to perceive" (cf. Gk. aisthanesthai "to feel"). Meaning "formal hearing or reception" is from 1377; that of "persons within hearing range, assembly of listeners" is from 1407. Sense transferred 1855 to "readers of a book." Audience-participation (adj.) first recorded 1940.

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