Etymology Tuesday

I’m three-quarters of the way through this novel and I can hardly stand to be away from it, so really quickly, here are three words from the newest chapters with their histories from the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Bruise: O.E. brysan “to crush, bruise, pound,” from P.Gmc. *brusjanan, from PIE root *bhreus– “to smash, crush” (cf. O.Ir. bronnaim “I wrong, I hurt;” Bret. brezel “war,” V.L. brisare “to break”). Merged by 17c. with Anglo-Fr. bruiser “to break, smash,” from O.Fr. bruisier “to break, shatter,” perhaps from Gaulish *brus-, from the same PIE root. Related: Bruised;bruising.

Quake: O.E. cwacian “quake, tremble, chatter (of teeth),” related to cweccan “to shake, swing, move, vibrate,” of unknown origin with no certain cognates outside English. Perhaps somehow imitative. Related: Quaked; quaking. The noun is attested from c.1400, originally “a trembling in fear,” but was rare except in combinations.

Tremor: late 14c., “terror,” from O.Fr. tremor “fear, terror” (13c.), from L. tremorem (nom. tremor) “a trembling, terror,” from tremere (see tremble). Sense of “an involuntary shaking” first recorded 1610s and probably represents a re-introduction from Latin.

I’m headed back to my writing now. I’ll have more words for you next Tuesday. : )


~ by lamichaud on October 9, 2012.

%d bloggers like this: