Thursday, February 11, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Pere-ing Down, Part III

Time for some more about the Proto Indo European pere-, which means to produce or procure. You should know that by now. I mean, I assume you’re all taking notes.
First, we’re going to look at parent. It showed up in the early fifteenth century (it was actually a last name in the late twelfth century!), where it didn’t just mean a mother or father, but also an ancestor. It comes from the Old French parent and classical Latin parentem, which is parent, big surprise. It’s actually from the verb parire, which I actually mentioned last week as being the origin of repertory, so make of that what you will. It means to produce or be fertile and is from pere-, so you can see how you can get parent from that. It makes more sense than repertory, anyway.
Next, repair. It showed up in the mid fourteenth century from the Old French reparer, to repair. That’s from the classical Latin reparare, to repair or restore, a mix of re-, which also means again here, and parare, to prepare. To repair something is to prepare it again.
Rampart showed up sometime in the late sixteenth century from the French rempart, from the verb remparer, to fortify. It’s a mix of re-, again and emparer, to take or to fortify, though I can’t see the reason for take to become fortify. Whatever. It’s from the Old Proven├žal amparer, from the Vulgar Latin anteparare, to prepare. Ante means before and, well, parare. To prepare before. That makes more sense for fortify than to take.
Sensible, right? Prepare for that to stop. Next we’re looking at parade. It showed up in the mid seventeenth century from either the French parade, Italian parate or Spanish parade—and that one actually means stop of all things. All three of those words are from the Vulgar Latin parata, which is from the classical Latin parare, which I mentioned last week and the week before as meaning to prepare. Apparently to prepare changed into to stop, which changed into to prevent or guard against, which changed into to dress or adorn. And that’s why we have parade. Somehow.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
Encyclopaedia Britannica
Indiana University Bloomington


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