Etymology English BCE


Etymology English BCE

The symbols in brackets are among some of the most potent in modern English.  Each word reflects and generates our worldview in significant ways.  Some are so potent that their wise use can sustain great civilization and their misuse can destroy humankind.
This timeline illustrates their original use thousands of years ago  in what is called the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE).  Observe how in general the words are associated with meanings that are rich in wisdom.

PIEar-ti (art) "fit together, join, complete"Assoc: assemble, develop
PIEbheue (be)- "to be, exist, grow, come into being,"Assoc: exist
PIEker (carbon) "heat, fire, to burn"Assoc: combustion
PIEkemb? (change) "to bend, crook, to turn"Assoc: transform
PIEgel (cool)"cold, to freeze"Assoc: loss or lack of heat, outflow of thermal energy
Old English
5C-12C AD
ofdune (down) "downwards," from dune "from the hill," dative of dun "hill"Assoc: change of status, lowering, decreasing
PIE oikonomos (economy) "manager, steward," from oikos "house, abode, dwelling"Assoc: stewardship, care
PIE Greekelektron (electric) "amber", substances which, like amber, attract other substances when rubbedAssoc: force, movement
PIEenergon (energy) from energos "active, working," from en "at" + ergon "work, that which is wrought; business; action" Assoc: active, operating, being
PIE?environ (environment)en- "in" (see en- (1)) + viron "a circle, circuit,Assoc: enclosure, containment, exclusion
PIEmerph, morphe (form)" beauty, outward appearance" Assoc: shape or appearance of something
PIEgene (generate) "produce, give birth, beget," Assoc: creation
PIEpoti (potent, potential) "powerful, lord, able, capable, possibleAssoc: capacity to act, operate
PIEpoti (power ) "powerful, lord, able, capable, possibleAssoc: capacity to act
PIE Latinresurgure (resource)re "again, anew" surge "rise, turn"Assoc: repeatable change
PIEskei >skhizein
"to cut, to split", rend, cleave,"Assoc: separation, division
PIEtra (transform)tra -"to cross over", form, shapeAssoc: change of shape or form
PIEupo (up) "up from below"Assoc: change of status - rising, increasing
PIE?virti? (warm) "to cook" boil bake roastAssoc: sustain a heat level, inflow of thermal energy
PIE Sanskritsunya-m, sifr (zero) "empty place, desert, naught" (see cipher (n.)). Assoc: empty, no being

History of English Language: Proto-Indo-European period.

Note: Estimates based on phonology and lexicon indicate PIE prevailed 3000 -10,000 BCE. The world population was then fewer than 20 million.

Modern use timeline to be constructed on separate page.