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COVET

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COVET

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Feb 20, 2005 8:26 am

• covet •
————————————————————
Pronunciation: kê-vet

Part of Speech: Transitive verb

Meaning: 1. To greatly desire. 2. To unnaturally envy someone for something they have.

Notes: This Good Word came to English with its whole family. The adjective is covetous and the adverb, covetously. The past participle is used so independently, that we might consider it another adjective when we use expressions like the coveted award. A gentler adjective with the same meaning is covetable, e.g. The presidency of Iraq is hardly a covetable position. The noun is covetousness.

In Play: To envy someone's possessions is acceptable but to covet it borders on evil, "Eva Brick positively covets all the chocolates her friend, Prudence, received on Valentine's Day." So, then, this word bears a more intensive sense of envy: "I do like your new ring," Amanda murmured with a covetous smile.

Word History: Today's is another word snitched when French wasn't looking. Middle English converted Old French coveitier to coveiten "to covet", which mellowed into the current word. Coveitier was a verb based on the noun covitie "desire", an extensively polished form of Latin cupiditas, the adjective of cupidus "desirous". Yes, covet and Cupid fell from the same lexical family tree. The original PIE root was something like *kup- "cook, boil, seethe", which referred to boiling of food or the roiling of emotions. In Greek it emerged as kapnos "smoke" (associated with an older form of cooking) and in Russian as kopot' "soot". The Latin root, seen in cupidus, comes from the metaphorical sense of the original root.
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Re: COVET

Postby M. Henri Day » Sun Feb 20, 2005 9:59 am

Dr. Goodword wrote:• covet •
————————————————————
...

The original PIE root was something like *kup- "cook, boil, seethe", which referred to boiling of food or the roiling of emotions. In Greek it emerged as kapnos "smoke" (associated with an older form of cooking) and in Russian as kopot' "soot". The Latin root, seen in cupidus, comes from the metaphorical sense of the original root.

Douglas Harper refers to a somewhat different (presumed) PIE root in his discussion of the etymology of «cook» :
cook (n.)
O.E. coc, from V.L. cocus "cook," from L. coquus, from coquere "to cook, prepare food, ripen, digest, turn over in the mind" from PIE base *pekw- "to cook" (cf. Oscan popina "kitchen," Skt. pakvah "cooked," Gk. peptein, Lith. kepti "to bake, roast," O.C.S. pecenu "roasted"). The noun was first; Gmc. languages had no one native term for all types of cooking. The verb is first attested c.1380; the figurative sense of "to manipulate, falsify, doctor" is from 1636. Cookout is from 1947; to cook with gas is 1930s jive talk.

"There is the proverb, the more cooks the worse potage." [Gascoigne, 1575]

Henri
Last edited by M. Henri Day on Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Flaminius » Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:34 am

Coveitier was a verb based on the noun covitie "desire", an extensively polished form of Latin cupiditas, the adjective of cupidus "desirous".


Wait, isn't cupiditas noun?
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Postby M. Henri Day » Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:50 am

Flaminius wrote:
Coveitier was a verb based on the noun covitie "desire", an extensively polished form of Latin cupiditas, the adjective of cupidus "desirous".


Wait, isn't cupiditas noun?

I'm with you フラミニウス. Our good doctor should have written «... Latin <cupiditas>, the nominal form of the adjective <cupidus>»....

Henri

PS : Glad to see you on board !
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Re: COVET

Postby Iterman » Mon Feb 21, 2005 7:12 am

Dr. Goodword wrote:Word History: Today's is another word snitched when French wasn't looking.


"snitched".. I was under the impression that French was more or less rammed down the throats of the Anglo-Saxons at least after Willy the Bastard went ashore at Hastings. Clarification please!
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Oops! You're so right.

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:29 pm

I switched my nouns and adjectives. Nice catch. Thanks. Fixed in the archives.
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