Friday, April 17, 2015

A-to-Z Challenge: O

A-to-Z Challenge! Open! Because!

Open comes from the Old English open, which meant…not closed. Okay, they’re not even trying. Anyway, it comes from the Proto Germanic upana, put or set up, and Proto Indo European upo, over or up from under. If you think that word looks like up, it’s because it’s the origin of up, as well as the prefix sub-, which is used to indicate under.

So it goes from over to set up to not closed. Man, etymology is usually vague, but even I can’t see the thought process behind this one.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English


  1. That one does seem rather out there - at least there's one word from Old English that I might get okay :)
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  2. I'm with you. That's a strange etymology connection there.

    Good luck with the A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

  3. It starts out so simple, not closed, and then gets really compicated.

  4. Think of opening the entrance to a tent. Well, I suppose that had more to do with the Ancient Near East. The most common things these people were opening must have needed an upward motion.

  5. Maybe they were more than halfway through a challenge when they came up with this for open and they were a bit tired :)



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