c.1300, “knowledge (of something) acquired by study,” also “a particular branch of knowledge,” from O.Fr. science, from L. scientia “knowledge,” from sciens (gen. scientis), prp. of scire “to know,” probably originally “to separate one thing from another, to distinguish,” related to scindere “to cut, divide,” from PIE base *skei- (cf. Gk. skhizein “to split, rend, cleave,” Goth. skaidan, O.E. sceadan “to divide, separate;”
1436, “pertaining to the people,” from O.Fr. public (1311), from L. publicus, altered (by influence of L. pubes “adult population, adult”) from Old L. poplicus “pertaining to the people,” from populus “people.” Meaning “open to all in the community” is from 1542.
Welcome to the Scientia Pro Publica, 24th Edition: Origins. Any reader of my old blog, the evolving mind, or my new, 360 Degree Skeptic, has encountered my obsession with words. While it may be a mere obsession and nothing more, I justify it with the claim that good science relies upon precision: precision in measurement, precision in communication. In other words, getting the words right matters.
In that light, in this collection of science writings for the public we will be learning about not biological origins, but the origins, or etymology, of some of the words we use. I will append to the announcement of each contribution two pieces of information: the origin of one word from the blog title/subtitle, and one from the post title. You might be suprised how recently most elements of our vocabulary came into being. And what others words and sounds they evolved from.
First things first–all the word origins shared below come from the Online Etymology Dictionary (© 2001-2010 Douglas Harper)–one of my favorite, free websites. [All bolds mine!]
On to the posts. Man, I am excited. There’s some great reading linked to below.
early 15c., from M.Fr. mental, from L.L. mentalis “of the mind,” from L. mens (gen. mentis) “mind,” from PIE base *men- “to think” (cf. Skt. matih “thought, mind,” Goth. gamunds, O.E. gemynd “memory, remembrance,” Mod.Eng. mind). Meaning “crazy, deranged” is from 1927.
O.E. græs, gærs “herb, plant, grass,” from P.Gmc. grasan (cf. O.N., Ger., Goth. gras), from PIE *ghros- “young shoot, sprout,” from base *gro-/*gre- “that which grows” (cf. L. gramen “grass”); related to grow and green. Sense of “marijuana” is first recorded 1938, Amer.Eng.
O.E. weg “road, path, course of travel,” from P.Gmc. *wegaz (cf. O.S., Du. weg, O.N. vegr, O.Fris. wei, O.H.G. weg, Ger. Weg, Goth. wigs “way”), from PIE *wegh- “to move” (see weigh). Most of the extended senses developed in M.E. Adj. meaning “very, extremely” is early 1980s, perhaps from phrase all the way.
1550s, from M.L. polaris, from L. polus (see pole (2)). Meaning “directly opposite in character or tendency” is attested from 1832. Polar bear first recorded 1781.
c.1300, “act of tasting,” from O.Fr. tast (Fr. tât), from taster (see taste (v.)). Meaning “faculty or sense by which flavor of a thing is discerned” is attested from c.1380. Meaning “savor, sapidity, flavor” is from 1382. Sense of “aesthetic judgment” is first attested 1671 (cf. Fr. goût, Ger. geschmack, Rus. vkus, etc.).
c.1300, “an ordinance to fix the amount of a payment or tax,” from O.Fr. sise, shortened form of assise “session, assessment, regulation, manner” (see assize), probably a misdivision of l’assise as la sise. The sense of “extent, amount, magnitude” (c.1400) is from the notion of regulating something by fixing the amount of it (weights, food portions, etc.). Specific sense of “set of dimensions of an article of clothing or shoe” is attested from 1591.
“characteristic of city life,” 1619 (but rare before 1830s), from L. urbanus “of or pertaining to a city or city life,” as a noun, “city dweller,” from urbs (gen. urbis) “city,” of unknown origin. The word gradually emerged in this sense as urbane became restricted to manners and styles of expression. Urban renewal, euphemistic for “slum clearance,” is recorded from 1955.
1611, from L. dissertationem (nom. dissertatio) “discourse,” from dissertare “debate, argue,” frequentative of disserere “discuss, examine,” from dis- “apart” + serere “to arrange words” (see series). Sense of “formal, written treatise” is 1651.
O.E. hælþ “wholeness, a being whole, sound or well,” from PIE *kailo- “whole, uninjured, of good omen” (cf. O.E. hal “hale, whole;” O.N. heill “healthy;” O.E. halig, O.N. helge “holy, sacred;” O.E. hælan “to heal”).
1646, from Fr. médical, from L.L. medicalis “of a physician,” from L. medicus “physician” (n.); “healing” (adj.), from mederi “to heal,” originally “know the best course for,” from PIE base *med- “to measure, limit, consider, advise” (cf. Gk. medos “counsel, plan, device, cunning,” Avestan vi-mad “physician”.
“one who takes dictation,” 1610s, from L. amanuensis, from servus a manu “secretary,” lit. “servant from the hand,” from a “from” + manu, ablative of manus “hand” (see manual).
1510s, from L. explanare “to make level, smooth out;” also “to explain, make clear” (see explanation). Originally explane, spelling altered by influence of plain. In 17c., occasionally used more literally, of the unfolding of material things
“looking well,” 1560s, from earlier sense of “be fitting” (early 13c.), from become.
1510s, from Fr. grade “grade, degree,” from L. gradus “step, degree,” replacing M.E. gree “step, degree in a series,” from O.Fr. grei “step,” from L. gradus, related to gradi “to walk, step, go,” from PIE *ghredh-
O.E. deop, from P.Gmc. *deupaz, from PIE *d(e)u- “deep, hollow” (cf. O.C.S. duno “bottom, foundation,” O.Ir. domun “world,” via sense development from “bottom” to “foundation” to “earth” to “world”).
c.1300, “limb of a tree” (also used of things analogous to it, especially geographic features), from O.Fr. branche “branch, bough, twig; branch of a family” (12c.), from L.L. branca “footprint,” later “a claw, paw,” of unknown origin, probably from Gaulish. The connecting notion would be the shape. Replaced native bough.
1998, short for weblog (which is attested from 1994, though not in the sense ‘online journal’), from (World Wide) Web + log. Joe Bloggs (c.1969) was British slang for “any hypothetical person” (cf. U.S. equivalent Joe Blow); . . . .The Blogger online publishing service was launched in 1999.
late 14c. (but rare before end of 16c., and not in K.J.V.), from L. animale “living being, being which breathes,” neut. of animalis “living, of air,” from anima “breath, soul” (see animus). Drove out the older beast in common usage. Used of brutish humans from 1580s. As an adj., attested from 1540s;
O.E. sawol “spiritual and emotional part of a person, animate existence,” from P.Gmc. *saiwalo (cf. O.S. seola, O.N. sala, O.Fris. sele, M.Du. siele, Du. ziel, O.H.G. seula, Ger. Seele, Goth. saiwala), of uncertain origin. Sometimes said to mean originally “coming from or belonging to the sea,” because that was supposed to be the stopping place of the soul before birth or after death. Hence, from P.Gmc. *saiwaz (see sea). Meaning “spirit of a deceased person” is attested in O.E. from 971. As a synonym for “person, individual” (e.g. every living soul) it dates from c.1320.
early 13c., “statement in an argument,” also “intellectual faculty that adopts actions to ends,” from Anglo-Fr. resoun, O.Fr. raison, from L. rationem (nom. ratio) “reckoning, understanding, motive, cause,” from ratus, pp. of reri “to reckon, think,” from PIE base *rei- “to reason, count” (cf. O.E. rædan “to advise; see read).
O.E. woruld, worold “human existence, the affairs of life,” also “the human race, mankind,” a word peculiar to Gmc. languages (cf. O.S. werold, O.Fris. warld, Du. wereld, O.N. verold, O.H.G. weralt, Ger. Welt), with a literal sense of “age of man,” from P.Gmc. *wer “man” (O.E. wer, still in werewolf; see virile) + *ald “age” (see old). Originally “life on earth, this world (as opposed to the afterlife),”
1660s, from Fr. fond “a bottom, floor, ground,” also “a merchant’s basic stock or capital,” from L. fundus “bottom, piece of land,” from PIE base *bhu(n)d-, cognate with Skt. budhnah, Gk. pythmen “foundation, bottom,” O.E. botm “lowest part” (see bottom). The verb is from 1776, from the noun.
early 14c., “to establish in office, appoint,” from L. institutus, pp. of instituere “to set up,” from in- “in” + statuere “establish, to cause to stand” (see statute). General sense of “set up, found, introduce” first attested late 15c. The noun sense of “organization, society” is from 1828, borrowed from French Institut national des Sciences et des Arts, established 1795 to replace the royal academies.
late 13c., from O.Fr. chalonge “calumny, slander;” in legal use, “accusation, claim, dispute,” from V.L. calumniare “to accuse falsely,” from L. calumnia “trickery” (see calumny). Accusatory connotations died out 17c. Meaning “a calling to fight” is from 1520s. Challenged as a euphemism for “disabled” dates from 1985. The verb is recorded from c.1200, from O.Fr. chalengier, from L. calumniari, from calumnia.
(13) From Time Travelling we have Ethnoprimatology in Sulawesi: Macaques in Farms and Folklore.
O.E. tima “limited space of time,” from P.Gmc. *timon “time” (cf. O.N. timi “time, proper time,” Swed. timme “an hour”), from PIE *di-mon-, from base *da- “cut up, divide” (see tide). Abstract sense of “time as an indefinite continuous duration” is recorded from 1388. Personified since at least 1509 as an aged bald man (but with a forelock) carrying a scythe and an hour-glass. In English, a single word encompasses time as “extent” and “point” (Fr. temps/fois, Ger. zeit/mal) as well as “hour” (e.g. “what time is it?” cf. Fr. heure, Ger. Uhr).
E. Indian monkey, 1757, from Fr., from Port. macaco “monkey,” a Bantu word brought from Africa to Brazil (where it was applied 17c. to a type of monkey there). Introduced as a genus name 1840.
O.E. wealcan “to toss, roll,” and wealcian “to roll up, curl, muffle up,” from P.Gmc. *welk- (cf. O.N. valka “to drag about,” Dan. valke “to full,” M.Du. walken “to knead, press, full,” O.H.G. walchan “to knead,” Ger. walken “to full”), perhaps ult. from PIE base *wel- “to turn, bend, twist, roll” (see vulva).
1640s, from L. centralis “pertaining to a center,” from centrum (see center). Centrally is attested perhaps as early as early 15c., which might imply a usage of central earlier than the attested date. Related: Centrality.
O.E. wudu, earlier widu “tree, trees collectively, the substance of which trees are made,” from P.Gmc. *widuz (cf. O.N. viðr, Dan., Swed. ved “tree, wood,” O.H.G. witu “wood”), perhaps from PIE *widhu- “tree, wood” (cf. Welsh gwydd “trees,” Gael. fiodh- “wood, timber,” O.Ir. fid “tree, wood”).
O.E. macian, from W.Gmc. *makojanan (cf. O.S. makon, O.Fris. makia “to build, make,” M.Du. maken, O.H.G. mahhon, Ger. machen), from PIE *mag- “to knead, mix, make” (see may). Sense evolution probably is via prehistoric houses built of mud. Gradually replaced the main O.E. word, gewyrcan (see work).
late 14c., “to make a plan or diagram,” from O.Fr. trasser “delineate, score, trace, follow, pursue” (12c.), from V.L. *tractiare “delineate, score, trace” (cf. Sp. trazar “to trace, devise, plan out,” It. tracciare “to follow by foot”), from L. tractus “track, course,” lit. “a drawing out,” from pp. stem of trahere “to pull, draw”
early 13c., from Fr. ignorance (12c.), from L. ignorantia (see ignorant).
O.E. bræð “odor, scent, stink, exhalation, vapor” (O.E. word for “air exhaled from the lungs” was æðm), from P.Gmc. *bræthaz “smell, exhalation” (cf. O.H.G. bradam, Ger. Brodem “breath, steam”), from PIE base *gwhre- “to breathe, smell.”
late 13c., from O.Fr. occean (12c.), from L. oceanus, from Gk. okeanos, the great river or sea surrounding the disk of the Earth (as opposed to the Mediterranean), of unknown origin. Personified as Oceanus, son of Uranus and Gaia and husband of Tethys.
“class, sort, variety,” from O.E. gecynd “kind, nature, race,” related to cynn “family” (see kin), from P.Gmc. *gakundiz (see kind (adj.)). Ælfric’s rendition of “the Book of Genesis” into O.E. came out gecyndboc. The prefix disappeared 1150-1250. No exact cognates beyond English, but it corresponds to adj. endings such as Goth -kunds, O.H.G. -kund. Also as a suffix (mankind, etc.).
1540s, from M.Fr. cabinet “small room” (16c.), dim. of O.Fr. cabane “cabin” (see cabin); perhaps influenced by (or rather, from) It. gabbinetto, dim. of gabbia, from L. cavea “stall, stoop, cage, den for animals.” Sense of “private room where advisors meet” (c.1600) led to modern political meaning (1640s); cf. board in its evolution from place where some group meets to the word for the group that meets there.
“after first,” c.1300, from O.Fr. second, from L. secundus “following, next in order,” from root of sequi “follow” (see sequel). Replaced native other (q.v.) in this sense because of the ambiguousness of the earlier word.
from Fr. Egypte, from Gk. Aigyptos “the river Nile, Egypt,” from Amarna Hikuptah, corresponding to Egypt. Ha(t)-ka-ptah “temple of the soul of Ptah,”
c.1600, from L. agricultura “cultivation of the land,” compound of agri cultura “cultivation of land,” from agri, gen. of ager “a field” (see acre) + cultura “cultivation”
c.1300, livelode “means of keeping alive,” from O.E. lifad “course of life,” from lif “life” + lad “way, course” (see load). Spelling assimilated 16c. to words in -hood. Earlier livelihood was a different word, meaning “liveliness.”
O.E. heh (Anglian), heah (W.Saxon) “of great height, lofty, tall, exalted,” from P.Gmc. *kaukhaz (cf. O.S. hoh, O.N. har, Dan. høi, Swed. hög, O.Fris. hach, Du. hoog, O.H.G. hoh, Ger. hoch, Goth. hauhs “high;” also Ger. Hügel “hill,” O.N. haugr “mound”), from PIE *koukos (cf. Lith. kaukara “hill”)
1415, “formal inspection or survey” (of land), from Anglo-Fr. vewe “view,” from O.Fr. veue, noun use of fem. pp. of veoir “to see,” from L. videre “to see” (see vision). Sense of “act of seeing, manner of regarding something” first recorded 1573.
1951, U.S. student slang, probably an alteration of 1940s slang nert “stupid or crazy person,” itself an alteration of nut. The word turns up in a Dr. Seuss book from 1950 (“If I Ran the Zoo”), which may have contributed to its rise. Adjective nerdy is from 1978.
1550, originally a legal term in the sense of “fixed property,” from M.L. realitatem (nom. realitas), from L.L. realis; meaning “real existence” is from 1647.
O.E. to “in the direction of, for the purpose of, furthermore,” from W.Gmc. *to (cf. O.S., O.Fris. to, Du. too, O.H.G. zuo, Ger. zu “to”), from PIE pronomial base *do- “to, toward, upward” (cf. L. donec “as long as,” O.C.S. do “as far as, to,” Gk. suffix -de “to, toward,” O.Ir. do, Lith. da-).
O.E. cofa “small chamber, cell,” from P.Gmc. *kubon. Extension of meaning to “small bay” is 1590, apparently via Scot. dialectal meaning “small hollow place in coastal rocks” (c.950).
“high bishop,” c.1200, from M.L. primas (gen. primatis) “church primate,” from L.L. adj. primas “of the first rank, chief, principal,” from primus “first” (see prime (adj.)). Meaning “biological order including monkeys and humans” is 1898, from Mod.L. Primates (Linnæus), from pl. of L. primas so called from supposedly being the “highest” order of mammals (originally also including bats). Hence, primatology “the study of Primates” (1941).
mid-15c., “the tilling of land,” from L. cultura, from pp. stem of colere “tend, guard, cultivate, till” (see cult). The figurative sense of “cultivation through education” is first attested c.1500. Meaning “the intellectual side of civilization” is from 1805; that of “collective customs and achievements of a people” is from 1867.
O.E. stream “a course of water,” from P.Gmc. *straumaz (cf. O.S. strom, O.N. straumr, Dan. strøm, Swed. ström, Norw. straum, O.Fris. stram, Du. stroom, O.H.G. stroum, Ger. Strom “current, river”), from PIE base *sreu- “flow” (see rheum). Meaning “current in the sea” (e.g. Gulf Stream) is recorded from late 14c. The verb is attested from early 13c. Streamer “flag that streams in the air” is recorded from late 13c. Stream of consciousness in lit crit first recorded 1931, originally in psychology (1855).
late 14c., from O.Fr. preserver, from M.L. preservare “keep, preserve,” from L.L. præservare “guard beforehand,” from L. præ- “before” + servare “to keep safe” (see observe).
O.E. and, ond, orig. meaning “thereupon, next,” from P.Gmc. *unda (cf. O.S. endi, O.Fris. anda, M.Du. ende, O.H.G. enti, Ger. und, O.N. enn), cognate with L. ante, Gk. anti (see ante). Phrase and how as an exclamation of emphatic agreement dates from early 1900s.
c.1200, a northern word, from O.N. blomi “flower, blossom,” also collectively “flowers and foliage on trees;” from P.Gmc. *blomon (cf. O.S. blomo, Du. bloem, Ger. Blume, Goth. bloma), from PIE *bhle- (cf. O.Ir. blath “blossom, flower,” L. flos “flower,” florere “to blossom, flourish”), extended form of *bhel- “to thrive, bloom, sprout” (see bole). O.E. had cognate bloma, but only in the figurative sense of “state of greatest beauty;” the main word in O.E. for “flower” was blostm (see blossom). Related to O.E. blowan “to flower” (see blow (v.2)).
1540s, laysy, of unknown origin. Replaced native slack, slothful, and idle as the main word expressing the notion of “averse to work.” In 19c. thought to be from lay (v.) as tipsy from tip.
O.E. moððe (Northumbrian mohðe), common Gmc. (cf. O.N. motti, M.Du. motte, Ger. Motte “moth”), perhaps related to O.E. maða “maggot,” or from the root of midge (q.v.). Until 16c. used mostly of the larva, usually in reference to devouring clothes (cf. Matt. vi.20).
O.E. life (dat. lif), from P.Gmc. *liba- (cf. O.N. lif “life, body,” Du. lijf “body,” O.H.G. lib “life,” Ger. Leib “body”), properly “continuance, perseverance,” from PIE *lip- “to remain, persevere, continue, live” (see leave). Much of the modern range of meaning was present in O.E. Extended 1703 to “term of duration (of inanimate objects).”
1640s, “an opening of what was rolled up,” from L. evolutionem “unrolling of a book,” noun of action from evolvere (see evolve). Used in various senses in medicine, mathematics, and general use, including “growth to maturity and development of an individual living thing” (1660s). Modern use in biology, of species, first attested 1832 by Scottish geologist Charles Lyell. Charles Darwin used the word only once, in the closing paragraph of “The Origin of Species” (1859)
c.1300, “Church father,” from O.Fr. doctour, from M.L. doctor “religious teacher, adviser, scholar,” from L. doctor “teacher,” from doct- stem of docere “to show, teach,” originally “make to appear right,” causative of decere “be seemly, fitting” (see decent). Meaning of “holder of highest degree in university” is first found late 14c.; as is that of “medical professional,” though this was not common till late 16c.
mid-13c., from Anglo-Fr. memorie, from L. memoria, from memor “mindful, remembering,” from PIE base *men-/*mon- “think” (see mind (n.)). Computer sense is from 1946.
1877, from Mod.L. Arthropoda, lit. “those with jointed feet,” biological classification of the phylum of segmented, legged invertebrates; see Arthropoda.
1824, from aeronautic (1784), from Fr. aéronautique, from aéro- (from Gk. aer “air”) + nautique “of ships,” from L. nauticus, from Gk. nautikos. Originally of balloons.
mid-15c., from L. extremus “outermost, utmost,” superlative of exterus (see exterior)
O.E. brægen “brain,” from P.Gmc. *bragnam (cf. M.L.G. bregen, O.Fris., Du. brein), from PIE base *mregh-m(n)o- “skull, brain” (cf. Gk. brekhmos “front part of the skull, top of the head“).
O.E. scolere “student,” from M.L. scholaris, from L.L. scholaris “of a school,” from L. schola (see school (1)). The M.L. word widely borrowed, e.g. O.Fr. escoler, Fr. écolier, O.H.G. scuolari, Ger. Schüler. First record of scholarship in sense of “emoluments of a scholar” is 1535.
late 15c., “to use to one’s profit,” from Anglo-Fr. emprouwer “to turn to profit” (late 13c.), from O.Fr. en-, causative prefix, + prou “profit,” from L. prode “advantageous” (see proud). Meaning “to raise to a better quality or condition” first recorded 1610s.
c.1300, from O.Fr. golfe “a gulf, whirlpool,” from It. golfo “a gulf, a bay,” from L.L. colfos, from Gk. kolpos “bay, gulf,” earlier “trough between waves, fold of a garment,” originally “bosom,” the common notion being “curved shape,” from PIE *qwelp- “to vault” (cf. O.E. hwealf, a-hwielfan “to overwhelm”).
late 14c., Scottish bonat “brimless hat for men,” from O.Fr., short for chapel de bonet, from bonet (12c., Mod.Fr. bonnet) “kind of cloth used as a headdress,” from M.L. bonitum “material for hats,” perhaps aphetic of L.L. abonnis “a kind of cap” (7c.), perhaps from a Germanic source.
early 13c., auenture “chance, fortune, luck,” from O.Fr. auenture, from L. adventura (res) “(a thing) about to happen,” from adventurus, future participle of advenire “to come about,” from ad- “to” + venire “to come” (see venue). Original meaning was “to arrive,” in Latin, but in M.E. it took a turn through “risk/danger” (a trial of one’s chances), and “perilous undertaking” (early 14c.), and thence to “a novel or exciting incident” (1570)
“a throb, a beat,” early 14c., from O.Fr. pous (late 12c.), from L. pulsus (in pulsus venarum “beating from the blood in the veins”), pp. of pellere “to push, drive,” from PIE *pel- “to shake, swing” (cf. Gk. pallein “to weild, brandish, swing,” pelemizein “to shake, cause to tremble”).
(35) From Living the Scientific Life (GrrlScientist) we have UV, You See? Black Light Reveals Secrets in Fossils.
late 13c., gyrle “child” (of either sex), of unknown origin; current scholarship leans toward an unrecorded O.E. *gyrele, from P.Gmc. *gurwilon-, dim. of *gurwjoz (represented by Low Ger. gære “boy, girl”), from PIE *ghwrgh-, also found in Gk. parthenos “virgin.” But this is highly conjectural. Another candidate is O.E. gierela “garment.” Like boy, lass, lad it is of obscure origin. “Probably most of them arose as jocular transferred uses of words that had originally different meaning” [OED].
O.E. blæc “black, dark,” from P.Gmc. *blakaz “burned” (cf. O.N. blakkr “dark,” O.H.G. blah “black,” Swed. bläck “ink,” Du. blaken “to burn”), from PIE *bhleg- “to burn, gleam, shine, flash” (cf. Gk. phlegein “to burn, scorch,” L. flagrare “to blaze, glow, burn”
prefix meaning “before, forward, in favor of, in place of,” from L. pro “on behalf of, in place of, before, for,” also in some cases from cognate Gk. pro “before, in front of,” both from PIE *pro-, extended form of base *por- “forward, through
c.1200, a mystery word with no apparent relatives in other languages.* Possibly from O.E. derogatory term bæddel and its dim. bædling “effeminate man, hermaphrodite, pederast,” probably related to bædan “to defile.” Originally “defective, inferior;” sense of “evil, morally depraved” is first recorded c.1300. A rare word before 1400, and evil was more common in this sense until c.1700.
(37) From Hey! Get This . . . we have dead ‘ol pits society – grand canyon of the colorado.
c.1200, from O.N. geta “to obtain, reach” (p.t. gatum, pp. getenn), from P.Gmc. *getan (cf. O.E. begietan “to beget,” O.Swed. gissa “to guess,” lit. “to try to get”), from PIE base *ghe(n)d- “seize” (cf. Gk. khandanein “to hold, contain,” Lith. godetis “be eager,” second element in L. prehendere “to grasp, seize,”
O.E. dead, from P.Gmc. *dauthaz, from PIE *dheu-. Meaning “insensible” is first attested early 13c. Of places, meaning “inactive, dull,” it is recorded from 1580s. Used from 16c. in adj. sense of “utter, absolute, quite.” Dead heat is from 1796. Dead soldier “emptied liquor bottle” is military slang from 1913.
mid-14c., “quality of being diverse,” mostly in a neutral sense, from O.Fr. diversité (12c.) “difference, diversity, unique feature, oddness:” also “wickedness, perversity,” from L. diversitatem “contrariety, contradiction, disagreement;” also, as a secondary sense, “difference, diversity” from diversus “turned different ways” .
c.1300, “to give back,” also, “to build up again, repair,” from O.Fr. restorer, from L. restaurare “repair, rebuild, renew,” from re- “back, again” + -staurare, as in instaurare “restore.”
1580s, “member of an ancient Gk. school that doubted the possibility of real knowledge,” from Fr. sceptique, from L. scepticus, from Gk. skeptikos (pl. Skeptikoi “the Skeptics”), lit. “inquiring, reflective,” the name taken by the disciples of the Gk. philosopher Pyrrho (c.360-c.270 B.C.E.), from skeptesthai “to reflect, look, view” (see scope (1)). The extended sense of “one with a doubting attitude” first recorded 1610s.
early 14c., “to check, verify, regulate,” from Anglo-Norm. contreroller “exert authority,” from M.L. contrarotulus “a counter, register,” from L. contra- “against”
Et voilà! (And see there, from my 9th grade French class.) This concludes the 24th edition of Scientia Pro Publica. Thank you for reading.
O.E. rædan (W.Saxon), redan (Anglian) “to explain, read, rule, advise” (related to ræd, red “advice”), from P.Gmc. *raedanan (cf. O.N. raða, O.Fris. reda, Du. raden, O.H.G. ratan, Ger. raten “to advise, counsel, guess”), from PIE base *rei- “to reason, count” (cf. Skt. radh- “to succeed, accomplish,” Gk. arithmos “number amount,” O.C.S. raditi “to take thought, attend to,” O.Ir. im-radim “to deliberate, consider”).
P.S. I just became aware of PZ Myers’ (he of Pharyngula fame) post of this same day: On the etymological association of atheist and scientist.
Please Note: There was a mix-up in the scheduling of this carnival, and communication about it, causing Andrew (another Andrew) at Southern Fried Science to post one as well. Please give his a look, too. For effort was made.
Scientia Pro Publica, Southern Fried version.