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https://www.duolingo.com/ArenElliott

Share your etymological finding!

ArenElliott
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Well hi there Duolingoers! I would like people to share some etymological things they may have seen in their chosen language.

Here is an example of when I found some etymology:

I was doing my Spanish lessons in Duolingo and I found the word "contiene" which meant contain in English. If you separate those words you get "con" and "tiene" which literally means "with have" or "with having". I though that was kind of cool when I saw it.

I can't wait to see your responses!

  • Aren
2 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Zzzzz...
Zzzzz...
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My favourite English word is gerrymandering. It means shaping electoral districts into shapes that favour a certain candidate. The etymological background is brilliant. In 1812, Governor Elbridge Gerry tried to ensure his re-election by setting his electoral district into the shape of a salamander.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ArenElliott
ArenElliott
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That's fascinating, keep up those amazing stats!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/satishvc
satishvc
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I love etymology as it almost always involves a cool story and helps remember words better. So I'll share two.

Testimony - In ancient Rome, a man would swear on his testicles that what he is saying is true. We continue to use this word today in testimony, testify, testament, attestation etc.

Gymnasium - From the Greek word "gymnos," meaning naked, since people used to work out in the nude back then. So gymnasium was the place where people worked out in the buff.

Times sure have changed, in some ways.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jzsuzsi
jzsuzsi
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It's funny because Gymnasium means high school in German, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak (and many more languages)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pfiff
Pfiff
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German and English are very closely related, and I often see things in German which are archaic in English, or which English has very slightly differently. Examples:

  • Silent letters in English may still be pronounced in German: Nacht/night, Schwert/sword, hoch/high.
  • German still has the subjunctive mood while English has almost entirely lost it.
  • Sounds produced in similar areas (p/f, s/t) have developed differently, leaving some interesting cognates: Pfiff/fife and Pfiff/pipe (Pfiff = whistling sound), Wasser/water, Fuß/foot.
  • German still distinguishes between singular and plural second person, while the English second person singular thou has disappeared. Du/thou and ihr/you are also cognates.

Honestly, things like this are of the major reasons for my desire to study linguistics at uni next year. Should be fun!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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According to Wiktionary, "you" is cognate with "euch" (fittingly, as it was the objective form of the pronoun as late as King James Bibile times); it's "ye" that is cognate with "ihr".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vedun
Vedun
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I'll just leave this here:

http://etymonline.com/

You may also want to look into attain, retain, sustain, obtain, etc.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheHockeyist

The word олово means tin in Russian, but olovo means lead in Czech.

2 years ago