Friday, July 24, 2009

Katie Nuttall Etymologies # 6- 15

6. poet: c.1300, from O.Fr. poete (12c.), from L. poeta "poet, author," from Gk. poetes "maker, author, poet," from poein "to make or compose," from PIE *kwoiwo- "making," from base *qwei- "to make" (cf. Skt. cinoti "heaping up, piling up," O.C.S. cinu "act, deed, order"). Replaced O.E. scop (which survives in scoff). Used in 14c., as in classical langs., for all sorts of writers or composers of works of literature.

7. conflict: c.1430, from L. conflictus, pp. of confligere "to strike together," from com- "together" + fligere "to strike" (see afflict).

8. climax: 1589, from L.L. climax (gen. climacis), from Gk. klimax "propositions rising in effectiveness," lit. "ladder," from base of klinein "to slope," from PIE base *klei- "to lean" (see lean (v.)). The rhetorical meaning evolved in Eng. through "series of steps by which a goal is achieved," to "escalating steps," to (1789) "high point," a usage credited by the OED "to popular ignorance."

9. resolution: 1412, "a breaking into parts," from L. resolutionem (nom. resolutio) "process of reducing things into simpler forms," from pp. stem of resolvere "loosen" (see resolve). Originally sense of "solving" (as of mathematical problems) first recorded 1548, that of "holding firmly" (in resolute) 1533, and that of "decision or expression of a meeting" is from 1604.

10. setting: 1375, "fact or action of being set or setting," from set (v.). Ref. to mounts for jewels, etc. is from 1815; meaning "background, history, environment" is attested from 1841.

11. voice: c.1290, "sound made by the human mouth," from O.Fr. voiz, from L. vocem (nom. vox) "voice, sound, utterance, cry, call, speech, sentence, language, word," related to vocare "to call," from PIE base *wek- "give vocal utterance, speak" (cf. Skt. vakti "speaks, says," vacas- "word;" Avestan vac- "speak, say;" Gk. aor. eipon "spoke, said," epos "word;" O.Prus. wackis "cry;" Ger. er-wähnen "to mention"). Replaced O.E. stefn. Meaning "ability in a singer" is first attested 1607. Verb meaning "to express" (a feeling, opinion, etc.) first attested 1607. The noun in this sense (in ref. to groups of people, etc., e.g. Voice of America) is recorded from 1390.

12. express: c.1386, from M.L. expressare, freq. of exprimere "represent, describe," lit. "to press out" (perhaps via an intermediary sense of something like "clay that takes form under pressure"), from ex- "out" + pressare "to press, push," from L. primere. The adj. is from L. expressus "clearly presented," pp. of exprimere; and it led to the n. (first attested 1619) meaning "special messenger."

13. gesture: c.1410, "manner of carrying the body," from M.L. gestura "bearing, behavior," from L. gestus "gesture, carriage, posture" (see gest). Restricted sense of "a movement of the body or a part of it" is from 1551; fig. sense of "action undertaken in good will to express feeling" is from 1916.

14. repeat: c.1375, from O.Fr. repeter "say or do again, get back, demand the return of" (13c.), from L. repetere "do or say again, attack again," from re- "again" + petere "go toward, seek, demand, attack" (see petition). Specific meaning "to take a course of education over again" is recorded from 1945, Amer.Eng. The noun is first recorded 1556.

15. verse: c.1050, "line or section of a psalm or canticle," later "line of poetry" (c.1369), from Anglo-Fr. and O.Fr. vers, from L. versus "verse, line of writing," from PIE base *wer- "to turn, bend" (see versus). The metaphor is of plowing, of "turning" from one line to another (vertere = "to turn") as a plowman does. O.E. had fers, an early W.Gmc. borrowing directly from L. Meaning "metrical composition" is recorded from c.1300; sense of "part of a modern pop song" (as distinguished from the chorus) is attested from 1927.
"Verse was invented as an aid to memory. Later it was preserved to increase pleasure by the spectacle of difficulty overcome. That it should still survive in dramatic art is a vestige of barbarism." [Stendhal, "De L'Amour," 1822]

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