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How did sollicitāre ‘disturb, agitate’ semantically shift to the meaning of "manage affairs"? I don't understand because "disturb, agitate" pejoratively connotes discontentment and upheaval, but "manage affairs" neutrally (or even positively) connotes business or transactions. This shift in connotation also baffles me.

For example, in some Commonwealth countries' split legal profession, a "solicitor" signifies a lawyer for non-contentious matters who provides general advice. A solicitor doesn't "disturb, agitate" in 2021 English meanings of these verbs.

solicit [15]

The ultimate source of solicit is Latin sollicitus ‘agitated’, which also gave English solicitous [16]. It was a compound adjective, formed from sollus ‘whole’ (source also of English solemn) and citus, the past participle of ciēre ‘move’ (source of English cite, excite, etc) – hence literally ‘completely moved’. From it was formed the verb sollicitāre‘disturb, agitate’, which passed into English via Old French solliciter. By the time it arrived it had acquired the additional meaning ‘manage affairs’, which lies behind the derived solicitor [15]; and the original ‘disturb’ (which has since died out) gave rise in the 16th century to ‘trouble with requests’.
      French insouciant, borrowed by English in the 19th century, goes back ultimately to Latin sollicitāre.

Word Origins (2005 2e) by John Ayto, p 467 Left column.

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    I’m voting to close this question because it is about the English words and usage, not the French. I would suggest to migrate to EL&U but this user has posted this same question there without cross-referencing. – livresque Apr 9 at 1:49
  • Since this is about the shift in meaning and the etymology of an English word (which is off topic on French Language SE), I am closing this question. Unfortunately, this question is being blocked from migration to English Language & Usage Stack Exchange. – Tsundoku Apr 11 at 18:58
  • @livresque Not exactly. I posted on ELU, but Stuart F told me to post here. That's why I posted here. – hims Apr 11 at 20:42
  • @Tsundoku I don't think "this is about the shift in meaning and the etymology of an English word". I posted on ELU, but Stuart F told me to post here. That's why I posted here. – hims Apr 11 at 20:42
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    The "shifts" you are talking about probably happened in late / vulgar Latin. Your question is still off topic here as solliciter has a very different meaning in modern French anyway. If you are baffled to see a word evolving during thousands of years, you are not out of the woods yet. – jlliagre Apr 11 at 21:51
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I must say the meaning "to manage affairs" does not exist in French, hence this may be more appropriate in the English language section.

Nevertheless, I can help you guess the evolution of meaning :

solicitor, "one who urges" from Old French soliciteor. soliciteur, from soliciter. Meaning "one who conducts matters on behalft of another" is from early 15c.

Etymonline page for solicitor

As I understand, a wealthy person hires a solicitor, to 'solicit' (urge) their clients/suppliers/employees to get them do what he expects.

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