Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Origin of Origin

What happens when a day contains almost nothing worth writing about? It's time to go to the next level. As I went about finding out the origins of words, I realized that I was unfamiliar with the verbal tool I was using. In short, from where does 'origin' originate?

We start at a Latin verb: 'orior', which means 'I rise' (it's deponent). The infinitive form (to rise) is 'oriri'. From this verb comes the (still Latin) noun 'origo' (genitive 'originis'), which means 'a beginning'. This passed through the French 'origine', and now manifests in English as the 'origin' we know and love.

Bonus: The Dutch word for 'origin' is 'oorsprong'.

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