Thursday, July 23, 2015

Language of Confusion: -Rated R, Part III

Okay, the last set of words. I think.

Consecrate showed up in the late fourteenth century from the classical Latin consecrates (just consecrated) and its verb form consecrare (consecrate, obvs). The con- means together and sacrare means sacred. So it’s together sacred. Well, obviously it’s not literal. And sacrare of course is the origin word for sacred. What a shocker.

Demonstrate showed up in the mid sixteenth century meaning point out. It comes from the classical Latin demonstratus, which also meant point out i.e. by deduction. The prefix de- has a weird number of meanings, but in this case it means entirely. The rest of the word is from monstrare, which just means show. And yes, it’s the origin word for monster. When I was little, I always thought that monster and demonstrate were related in some way. Somehow, I was right.

Next, considerate showed up in the late sixteenth century with pretty much the same meaning, coming from the classical Latin consideratus, considered, and its verb considerare, consider, of course. In this case, the con- means with (stupid words and their multiple meanings) and the rest comes from the word sidusstar. No fooling, it literally translates to star, and the reason we have consider is probably because considerare came from people “considering” the stars. And it’s the origin word for sidereal, a word I’ve seen before and thought was pronounced like side + real but apparently is actually sahy-deer-ee-uhl. I’m not even sure how to react to that.

The final word brings with it the key to the -rate words. Invigorate, which showed up in the mid seventeenth century. It’s not really a -rate word. It’s actually in- + vigor + -ate. But we’re already here, so let’s get to it. In this case, in- means into or on. Vigor showed up in the early fourteenth century from the Anglo French vigour and Old French vigor, force or strength. Before that, it was the classical Latin vigorem/vigor, which mean vitality and vigor respectively, both of which stem from the verb vigere, to thrive. Even further back, it’s the Proto Indo European weg-, lively or active, the origin word for wake. Finally, the last part of the word, -ate, is a common Latin suffix for verbs that end in -are. You know, like most of the -rate words we’ve been looking at these past weeks. Mystery solved [mic drop].



  1. Sounds like a tangled web, especially that last paragraph. I'm not usually lively, active, or vigourous when I wake, but I can see the connection. And sidereal is a new one to me. Wonder how monster "showed up" too?

  2. I'm glad you continued with the -rate words. On the third one I was thinking long "a", but then I was like no, conside-rate doesn't sound right.

  3. Considering the stars? I wonder what they were thinking about them?

  4. And how often do we really use the term invigorate?

  5. Monster meant show? Like show off the beastly thing? My mind spins...

    I think the sidereal pronunciation makes sense to be (probably because I heard it pronounced early on) because of El Camino Real. Pronounced "re-al". (It's a California thing.)

  6. If I saw a monster, I'd definitely point him out. :P


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