Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
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Postby call_copse » Thu May 23, 2013 7:24 am

As in cautiously. I'd like to see a treatment of this word. My understanding is that it is related to Latin genitus rather than the root. Any other theories, or relatives, or just the adverb?

Philip Hudson
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Re: Gingerly

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat May 25, 2013 11:10 pm

The spice ginger is similarly named in many PIE languages. It has only an accidental relationship to gingerly. There is general agreement that gingerly comes from a Latin word meaning high born or aristocratic. The road from Latin to English is not so obvious. Gingerly once meant with a careful mincing step, aping the dancing of the gentry, at some time in the past. It was not a word of admiration but of derision. The mincing step suggested walking carefully and thus the word expanded to handling anything carefully.

Mark your package "handle with care", "fragile", "this side up" and other requests for handling a package gingerly. The notes are wasted because the machinery that handles package delivery by any parcel service, is not trained to read your notes. Its best to insure your package. I engineered some of these machines in a past life.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

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