Monday, December 15, 2008

derivations by association

The other day I was thinking about the word voracious, and how it comes from the Latin word voro (to devour), which is also the root of the word carnivorous; carnis is Latin for meat or flesh, and the source of the word carnival, which was originally a celebration to mark the beginning of Lent, a time when you didn't eat meat- since vale is Latin for good-bye, carnival is literally 'good-bye to meat'; similarly a valediction (see, for example, this poem) is a fancy word for a farewell (dico = to say), and a benediction is a blessing, bene being Latin for good/well- which we also see in the word benevolent, coming from the Latin word to want (volo), as does malevolent, which has the opposite meaning (malus = bad).

That's all really...

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