Thursday, May 12, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Extreme Junction, Part II

This week we’re looking at more words that come from the Proto Indo European  yeug-to join, which shows up in so many words having to do with a joining, especially if they have a J in them.
First, join, the root of this mess, which I probably should have done last week but there were a ton of junction words. It showed up in the fourteenth century, from the Old French joign- and its root joindre. That’s from the classical Latin iungere, to join, which we talked about last week since it’s the origin of juncture, too. And that word is of course from yeug-.
Now for all the prefixed forms. Adjoin showed up in the fourteenth century, the same time as join, and it also pretty much meant the same thing before also taking on the meaning to be adjacent to. It comes from the Old French ajoin and its root ajoindre, from the classical Latin adiungere, which means… well, join, but also to add to or to fasten to. The ad- comes from ad, to, so to adjoin is to add to. Its evolution and usage through the years is surprisingly sensible. How shocking.
Conjoin showed up in the late fourteenth century, and there’s nothing imaginative about this one. It comes from the Old French conjoindre, from the classical Latin coniungere, to connect or join together, with the prefix con- means together. Now this is just banal.
Enjoin at least has a definition that’s out there, since it means to direct something with authority. It’s the oldest word here, having shown up in the thirteenth century from the Old French enjoindre and classical Latin iniungere, which means literally to join or fasten but figuratively to impose. The prefix is just from en, which means in, so “to join together in” somehow means to impose. Now this is more like I expect from etymology.
Finally today we’ll look at rejoinder, which is different from rejoin, which is just re- + join. Rejoinder, like enjoin, is mostly used in legal terms, and it actually showed up in the mid fifteenth century in law usage. It’s from the Old French rejoindre, which meant to answer in legal terms and is their word joindre with the prefix re- meaning again. As to why joindre somehow means to say but only in legal terms, that mystery can only be revealed by French.
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


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