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understand

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.

understand

Postby vbrizendine » Wed May 04, 2011 8:39 am

before 900; Middle English understanden, understonden, Old English understondan; cognate with Dutch onderstaan.

To have a comprehension allows one to "stand upon" it or to take a "stand." It is the "under" part of this word confuses me. There is a suggestion that the root of under could have meant between or among; this doesn't clarify "understand" for me.
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Postby MTC » Thu May 05, 2011 11:16 pm

For a discussion of the etymology of "understand" see World Wide Words by Michael Quinion at http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-und1.htm

We will never know;lost in the mists of Time.
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