Thursday, July 23, 2009

Steve Evans: Etymology 17-25

Well, tonight's class inspired me to look up the etymologies of several words. So, here goes:

c.1330, "fact of being present," from O.Fr. presence (12c.), from L. præsentia "a being present," from præsentem (see present (n.)). Meaning "carriage, demeanor, aspect" (especially if impressive) is from 1579; that of "divine, spiritual or incorporeal being felt as present" is from 1667. Presence of mind (1665) is a loan-transl. of Fr. présence d'esprit, L. præsentia animi.

1541, "the action of bending the joints," from O.Fr. articulation, from M.L. articulationem (nom. articulatio), from articulatus, pp. of articulare "to separate (meat) into joints," also "to utter distinctly," from articulus, dim. of artus "joint" (see article). Articulate (v.) in the sense of "divide (vocal sounds) into distinct and significant parts" is first recorded 1594; generalized sense of "express in words" is from 1691.

1581, "condition of being seen," from L.L. visibilitas (see visible). Meaning "range of vision under given conditions" is from 1914. Sense of "prominence, fame, public attention" is recorded from 1958.

1529, from M.Fr. audible, from L.L. audibilis, from L. audire "to hear," from PIE *awis-dh-yo-, from base *au- "to perceive" (see audience).

c.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.

mediation, got mediator
c.1300, from L.L. mediatorem (nom. mediator) "one who mediates," from mediatus, pp. of mediari "to intervene, mediate," also "to be or divide in the middle," from L. medius "middle" (see medial). Originally applied to Christ, who in Christian theology "mediates" between God and man. Meaning "one who intervenes between two disputing parties" is first attested 1387. The verb mediate is first recorded 1542, probably a back-formation from mediation (c.1425) or mediator.

1340, from O.Fr. conversation, from L. conversationem (nom. conversatio) "act of living with," prp. of conversari "to live with, keep company with," lit. "turn about with," from L. com- intens. prefix + vertare, freq. of vertere (see versus). Originally "having dealings with others," also "manner of conducting oneself in the world;" specific sense of "talk" is 1580. Used as a synonym for "sexual intercourse" from at least 1511, hence criminal conversation, legal term for adultery from late 18c.

compelling, got compel
c.1350, from O.Fr. compellir, from L. compellere "to drive together," from com- "together" + pellere "to drive."

promise (n.) , as in sense of promise
c.1400, from L. promissum "a promise," noun use of neuter pp. of promittere "send forth, foretell, promise," from pro- "before" + mittere "to put, send" (see mission). Ground sense is "declaration made about the future, about some act to be done or not done." The verb is attested from c.1420. Promised land (1538) is a ref. to the land of Canaan promised to Abraham and his progeny (Heb. xi.9, etc.; Gk. ten ges tes epangelias). Promising "showing signs of future excellence" is from 1601.

No comments: