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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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Re: MAYHEM

Postby misterdoe » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:29 am

Recently I've seen Vulgar Latin referred to as Street Latin, or the language of the people. So, depending on the time period were talking about, maybe there were already "barbarians" in the realm? Latin also continued to be used in the former Roman realms long after "Rome" was no longer a power. Maybe it was the invaders who "introduced" the word into Latin...
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Re: MAYHEM

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:00 pm

Old Dr. H., my linguistics professor, would always spit on the floor after saying a French word. Then he would mutter, "Bastard Latin!" He staunchly asserted that all the so called romance languages came from the jargon prostitutes invented to communicate with their Roman legion clients. But then, Dr. H. was a German.
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