Thursday, February 15, 2018

Language of Confusion: Legs Part VI

Oh man. How many more are there?

It shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been paying attention to this series that logic is related. It showed up in the mid fourteenth century as, and I’m not making this up, logike. Does that make anyone else think of a bike made out of logs or is it just me? It comes from the Old French logique, classical Latin logica and Greek logike, both of which are logic. And I guess kind of explains the initial English spelling, although in Greek it obviously would be spelled with Greek characters. But logike is from logikos, reasonable or logical, which is from logos, reason.

Now colleague. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the Middle French collègue and before that the classical Latin collega, a colleague or office partner. It’s a mix of the prefix com- (they dropped the m here), together, and legare, which means revenues. Totally serious. I guess a colleague is someone you get revenues with? And legare is related to legere, which is where the -lect words come from, and both stem from the Proto Indo European root word leg-, collect or gather. You can also look at college, which is a very similar word. It showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French college and classical Latin collegium, which was a college and the plural of collega! So a college is many office partners. Oh, and you might be thinking that the word league is related seeing how it’s spelled the same as the last six letters of colleague. And you’d be completely and totally wrong.

Legend showed up in the early fourteenth century from the Old French legend and Medieval Latin  legenda, which all mean legend, too. In classical Latin, the word is legendus, which means read and is related to legere, which can mean read or collect. There’s also legion, which showed up in the thirteenth century from the Old French legion and Latin legionem. And there hasn’t actually been a change in definition over the years. Legionem is from the “collect” definition of legere, and a legion is a collection of soldiers.

That’s it for this week. One more week to go? I think?



  1. I wonder how we got from many office partners to an institute of learning for college?

  2. Yeah, I think that log-bike is just you.
    Though it could be interesting in a Flintstones kind of way.

  3. I like the spelling "logike". I may have to use that as a character name.

  4. How fitting that logic would be straight forward.

  5. Logike has a nice look to it. It sounds like some kind of mythical creature. Or perhaps a strange, steampunk vehicle.


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