Etymology Tuesday

It’s hard to be faithful to one story at a time, and I’ve been working on the beginning chapter and outline for a new one. Because it’s had more of my attention lately, I’m going to stray from my nearly completed novel, and take a few words from my new darling, and get their histories from the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Ogre: “man-eating giant,” 1713, hogre (in a translation of a French version of the Arabian Nights), from Fr. ogre, first used in Perrault’s “Contes,” 1697, and perhaps formed by him from It. orco “demon, monster,” from L. Orcus “Hades,” perhaps via an Italian dialect. In English, more literary than colloquial. The conjecture that it is from Byzantine Ogur “Hungarian” or some other version of that people’s name (perhaps via confusion with the bloodthirsty Huns), lacks historical evidence. Related: Ogrish; ogrishness.

Temple: “building for worship,” O.E. tempel, from L. templum “piece of ground consecrated for the taking of auspices, building for worship,” of uncertain signification. Commonly referred either to PIE root *tem– “to cut,” on notion of “place reserved or cut out,” or to PIE root *temp– “to stretch,” on notion of cleared space in front of an altar. Figurative sense of “any place regarded as occupied by divine presence” was in Old English. Applied to Jewish synagogues from 1590s.

Thrall: O.E. þræl “bondman, serf, slave,” from O.N. þræll “slave, servant,” probably from P.Gmc. *thrakhilaz, lit. “runner,” from root *threh– “to run” (cf. O.H.G. dregil “servant,” prop. “runner;” O.E. þrægan, Goth. þragjan “to run”).

I’m sure that by next week, I’ll have made myself go back to my primary WIP and that there will be more words from that. Until then, fare thee well.


~ by lamichaud on September 25, 2012.

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