Questions tagged [étymologie]

Questions sur l'origine des mots et leur dérivation depuis des racines venues du latin, du grec et d'autres langues.

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4
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1answer
155 views

What are the origins of French term 'les salamalecs'

This word has been described in a previous entry on the site as 'exaggerated shows of politeness, eg when greeting or welcoming someone at a formal event. The word has a negative connotation, being ...
4
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0answers
53 views

Comment « appréhender » a-t-il glissé sémantiquement pour signifier « redouter, craindre » ?

Appréhender a trois sens : D'abord « prendre, saisir, attraper » qui est le plus fidèle à son étymologie (du latin apprehendere de même sens). Ensuite « comprendre, saisir par l'esprit », qui se ...
0
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1answer
28 views

What does "changement très rare dans ce sens, mais plus courant dans l’autre" mean for the etymology of "morigéner"?

I know that Wiktionnaire can be unreliable, but is it correct? I can translate the quotation in question — very rare change in this sense, but more au courant in the other. Mais lequel est "ce ...
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1answer
50 views

For tancer, how did « tendre, faire effort » semantically appertain "to scold, rebuke"?

How did « tendre, faire effort » semantically shift to mean to repimand/reprimander? What semantic notions underlie them? Doubtless, TENDING, TENDERING, or EXTENDING (« tendre ») or making an effort ≠...
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1answer
45 views

If "par" ≠ quelque ("some"), then how can parfois ≅ quelquefois = sometimes?

Unquestionably, par doesn't necessarily mean quelque. For example, you can't replace par with quelque in en quelque sorte, quelque peu, quelque temps, quelque'un. But then why does parfois = ...
3
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1answer
56 views

Pourquoi jus et juteux ont-ils des orthographes incohérentes ?

Pourquoi écrit-on « le jus » ? L'adjectif correspondant c'est « juteux ». Il serait donc logique d'écrire « le jut ».
5
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2answers
214 views

How do soit's 3 significations semantically appertain each other [1] 3SG PRS subjunctive of être, [2] "let be" in math, and [3] "either ... or"?

What's the semantic field of soit? What notions underlie these 3 significations that look completely unrelated to me? Alain Rey, ed. Dictionnaire historique de la langue française, 4th edn. 2 vols. ...
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1answer
42 views

What do the verb prefixes in "aborder/déborder" mean ?

In this case of "aborder" and "déborder", the "a-" and "de-" seem to related to a direction. Is this generally so? Are "a-" and "dé-" ...
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1answer
56 views

How did « comme » + « bien » compound to signify « combien » (quelle quantité, quel nombre)?

How do comme and bien semantically appertain to comme's definitions below in 2021 Modern French? Neither of them signifies the definitions below. Dans quelle mesure, à quel point. quelle quantité, ...
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2answers
569 views

I am a little bit confused due to the difference between dictionaries on the verb "ficher". Can native speakers take a look?

When you look up in these two dictionaries (Collins, Cambridge) the verb ficher has meanings like to file, to put on file, to record. However, Google Translate has completely different definitions ...
2
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2answers
202 views

Why is 'jouer' used with à?

Consider the sentence: Il joue au tennis. Is the true meaning he is having fun time / feeling joy at tennis? EDIT BELOW By 'true meaning' I mean the etymological/ancient/root/deep meaning or a ...
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1answer
108 views

Peut-on établir un lien quelconque entre "mousse" et "moissine" ?

Peut-on supposer que l'origine étymologique de mousse et de moissine est identique ? On trouve dans le Littré : mousse : Berry, mosse ; provenç. mos ; ital. mozzo ; du germanique : rhétique, mutt, ...
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3answers
123 views

C'est quoi l'explication étymologique du "c" au milieu de "coincer" ?

Bonjour, j'ai une question très, très "niche" à vous poser. Pourquoi y-a-t-il un deuxième 'c' dans le verbe "coincer" alors qu'il est basé sur le mot "coin" ? Autrement ...
2
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1answer
141 views

Pourquoi "le vin rosé" et non "rose"?

Comparer: "vin rouge", "vin blanc", mais "vin rosé", alors qu'on attendrait "vin rose". Pourquoi cette différence?
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2answers
44 views

"Il faut la taille mince et le prix léger" : signification, origine ?

Dans l'avant-propos d'un ouvrage on lit : L'organisation en crédits d'enseignement entraîne des variations entre les Universités. Les deux premières années de licence (L1 et L2) ont cependant ...
4
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1answer
105 views

Comment est le b apparu dans "humble"?

J'étais en train de penser comment expliquer la différence entre humble et humility en anglais, et je me suis rendue compte que cette différence a dû passer du français en anglais. Sur l'étymologie du ...
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2answers
75 views

Why does 'pis-aller' mean 'dernier ressort'?

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898. defines 'pis-aller' as 'dernier ressort'. English Wiktionary translates the etymons. From French pis-aller, from pis (“worst”) + ...
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1answer
114 views

How did 'à savoir' semantically shift to mean 'c’est-à-dire'?

Undeniably, "savoir" and "dire" are different concepts. Thus how do they appertain to each other? The same semantic shift also happened in English, from "that is to wit" ...
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1answer
131 views

How did tôt shift from denoting « chaudement » to « promptement »?

I don't understand the emboldening from CNTRL. How does « chaudement » semantically appertain to « promptement »? Du lat. pop. tostum, neutre prés. adv. de tostus « grillé, rôti, brûlé », part. passé ...
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44 views

Does this site include questions for Louisiana French?

I wanted to add information pertaining to the term "titi" but it said I was restricted and I didn't know if this site included Louisiana French as I've been told it's, not the same, to put ...
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1answer
56 views

How did 'solliciter' semantically shift to signify ‘manage affairs’? [closed]

How did sollicitāre ‘disturb, agitate’ semantically shift to the meaning of "manage affairs"? I don't understand because "disturb, agitate" pejoratively connotes discontentment and ...
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2answers
168 views

How did 'gratuité' shift to signify 'an additional payment given freely as thanks for service'?

Undeniably, graciousness differs from money! Graciousness is a behaviour and quality, whilst money is a physical a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and a store of value. gratuity (n.) 1520s, &...
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1answer
38 views

How did 'forfeit' shift to signify ‘penalty imposed for committing such a misdeed'?

I don't understand this semantic shift, because a misdeed differs from a penalty or "something to which the right is lost through a misdeed". Can someone please fill in the gap? forfeit [13]...
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1answer
47 views

Etymology of 'motet'

This word is by definition a short piece of choral music and a word of French origin according to the etymology section on Wiktionary. Although it is not stated specifically if motet falls under the ...
2
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1answer
131 views

Why did Old French borrow de- to mean "academic degree", not sup-?

I hope my befuddlement is self explanatory and obvious. In Modern English and French, degrade and degrader still negatively connote debasing or demeaning. But academic degrees, goals, and progress are ...
2
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1answer
56 views

Why did Old French borrow "praemissa" for "premise"?

It feels weird to think of premises as being "sent ahead". It makes more sense to think of premises as being put down, like in the etymology of the English thesis or French thèse quoted ...
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2answers
65 views

How did "trouver", which originally meant "compose", shift to mean "find"?

Kindly see the embolded phrase below. How's the notion of inventing related to finding? Can you please expound this semantic shift? troubadour [18] A troubadour is etymologically someone who ‘finds’ ...
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0answers
326 views

How did "attendre" shift from signifying "direct one's attention to" to "wait"?

Ayto doesn't expound how attendre signifies "to wait" in French. Unquestionably, directing one's attention to something differs from waiting. E.g. when people wait in line or for their ...
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0answers
49 views

How do bungs semantically relate to eyes?

I'm assuming Etymonline signifies "A stopper for closing a hole in a container" for bung. But I can't think of any semantic relationship between bungs and eyes! Their functions and purposes ...
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19 views

How did "fisike" shift from meaning "natural science" to "medicine"? [duplicate]

What's the antecedent of "its meaning"? I'm guessing fisike.. Can you please expound on this shift that I embolded? The author didn't. physics [16] Physics comes ultimately from Greek ...
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1answer
205 views

How exactly did agréer invert in French?

agréer flipped the subject and direct object like like (v.) and please (v.), correct? But what were the steps? I'm guessing French commenced with Mes desiderata m'agréent. Syntactically how did this ...
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2answers
133 views

Prononciation du mot "haricot"

Je sais que l'h du mot "haricot" est aspiré. Le haricot ; les haricot (pas d'élision ; pas de liaison). J'ai entendu plusieurs fois des natifs dire "les haricots verts" en faisant ...
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2answers
71 views

Écriture du mot 'été'

Pourquoi le mot été (saison) s'écrit comme le participe passé du verbe être. Je pense à l'étymologie Wallon, osté ; Berry, sté, asté, sécheresse ; bourguign. étai ; provenç. estat, s. f. ; ital. ...
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1answer
239 views

Why is the French name for Greenland 'Groenland'?

Today, I learned that the island of Greenland is called 'Groenland' in French. In Spanish and Italian, it is the same. The Wikipedia page did not explain why it is not 'Pays Verte' or something like ...
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1answer
33 views

Pourquoi "précédent" n'a-t-il pas la forme d'un adjectif verbal?

Bonjour, je faisais autrefois la faute d'orthographier "précédant" l'adjectif "précédent". Je trouve la forme néanmoins toujours convaincante (!): j'écrirais volontiers "la ...
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1answer
33 views

Are épier and espionner etymologically related?

Both words have similar meanings, épier (to peek) and espionner (to spy). Also épier looks like espionner without the “s”, as many other Latin derived words that lose some “s” in French. Are these ...
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1answer
98 views

Why is it that you use "en" before feminine country names but "au" before masculine ones?

Edit: This isn't a question about how the grammar works. It is about WHY it works the way it does. Hence the etymologie tag. Why is it that you use "en" before feminine country names but &...
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1answer
107 views

Origin of "Bourreau de travail"

According to http://www.linternaute.fr/expression/langue-francaise/20292/bourreau-de-travail/ Origine inconnue pour cette expression. The question is evident. What could be some possible assertions ...
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2answers
49 views

Le sens commun de "la sonde"

Ce sont des sens de "sonde" dans la dictionnaire: tube que l'on insère dans le corps appareil pour mesurer la profondeur de l'eau appareil pour creuser appareil que l'on envoie dans l'...
4
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1answer
58 views

Was "être égaré" used in nautical contexts before 1600?

The Spanish expression al garete means literally "to drift" or even "to sink" depending on the context (among other figurative meanings). The Royal Spanish Academy considers the ...
4
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1answer
125 views

What color is "vert Anglais"?

I am shopping for a bicycle which is available in "vert Anglais" but I'm having a hard time finding out exactly which colors could be considered "vert Anglais". I am also ...
5
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1answer
141 views

Accent circonflexe sur « mû »

Le participe passé du verbe mouvoir s'écrit avec un accent circonflexe. D'où vient-il ? Les autres verbes du 3e groupe en -oir/-oire n'en ont pas (pu, plu, cru, bu, ...). Celui de mûrir sert à faire ...
4
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1answer
79 views

Comment « re » + « partir » se fédèrent-ils sémantiquement pour signifier « répliquer » ?

Quelles notions sémantiques sous-tendent « re » + « partir » avec « riposter aussitôt à un propos » ? repartee (n.) 1640s, "quick remark," from French repartie "an answering blow or ...
5
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1answer
132 views

Why is "générique" the word for "theme song"?

Why is "générique" the word used in French to refer to the credits/title sequence/theme song of a T.V. show or movie? How did "générique" come to acquire such a meaning? So far, I'...
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0answers
33 views

Pourquoi la diphtongue latine "al" est devenue "au" en Français ? [duplicate]

Plusieurs mots écrits avec la diphtongue "au" s'écrivaient auparavant avec un "al" en ancien français/latin. Exemples: Salmo -> Saumon Alcun -> Aucun Falsus -> Faux ...
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1answer
123 views

Etymology of ’macroule’

One of my favourite birds is the Eurasian coot (fulica atra), in French ”foulque macroule”. Wiktionary suggests without sources that the etymology of macroule is ”diable de mer”. DMF just says ...
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2answers
198 views

Pourquoi des lieux nommés "la crotte"

J'ai vu une rue qui s’appelait « la crotte », donc j'ai regardé l'odonymie de ce mot et il parait qu'il y a au moins deux cents endroits nommés la crotte, les crottes, et d'autres variantes trop ...
2
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2answers
121 views

Une Personne Morale... Is it a practical and logical appellation?

I am French and I find that Une Personne Morale the first choice of all government forms, it denotes a representative of a company. We have the choice of being a physical or a moral person. The ...
3
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1answer
86 views

Comment « trancher » glisse-t-il sémantiquement pour signifier « décider » ?

Quelles notions sémantiques sous-tendent « couper en tranches, taillader » avec « statuer » ? TRANCHER : Définition de TRANCHER [A][2.]c) Mettre fin à une difficulté en faisant un choix, en prenant ...
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2answers
262 views

What do se and en mean in s'en falloir?

I'm asking HOW s'en falloir means "manquer", not whether it does. What does "se" mean here? Is it a reflexive or reciprocal pronoun here? What does "en" refer to here? ...

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