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MAYHEM

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MAYHEM

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:41 pm

Here's the American Heritage take on it:


may·hem    (mhm, mm) KEY 

NOUN:
Law The offense of willfully maiming or crippling a person.
Infliction of violent injury on a person or thing; wanton destruction: children committing mayhem in the flower beds.
A state of violent disorder or riotous confusion; havoc.
ETYMOLOGY:
Middle English maim, mayhem, from Anglo-Norman maihem, from Old French mahaigne, injury, from mahaignier, to maim, from Vulgar Latin *mahanre, probably of Germanic origin

A fascinating word that surfaced in another discussion. The last sentence in the etymology is fascinating. How did Vulgar Latin pick up a word, any word, of barbaric origin?
pl
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Re: MAYHEM

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:19 am

The point to remember is that it was Vulgar Latin, a pretty barbaric language in its own right.
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