Words from Latin via Old English

A discussion of word histories and origins.
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Words from Latin via Old English

Postby Audiendus » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:26 am

The vast majority of Latinate words in English date from the second millennium and are derived either directly from (classical or late) Latin or via (Norman or later) French. The following two, however, are from Latin via Old English (Anglo-Saxon), i.e. they are Germanic borrowings from Latin:

wine – from Old English win, from Latin vinum.
street – from Old English stret or stræt, from Latin strata, paved (road).

I am sure there must be some other English words with Germanic-Latin derivations. Can anyone think of any?

Note that there are plenty of words that Latin adopted from Germanic languages. I am interested in cases where the adoption was the other way round.


Re: Words from Latin via Old English

Postby bnjtokyo » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:07 am

I'm not sure the examples I have found follow the derivation you are interested in, but here goes:
Latin: Marcatus - German: Markt - English: Market
Latin: milia, millia - German: milja (unattested) - Old English: mil - English: mile
Latin: Caesar - German: Kaiser - English: Kaiser
Latin: caseus - German: kasjus (unattested) - English: cheese
Latin: febris - German: Fieber - English: fever
Latin: mater - German: Mutter - English: mother
Latin: pater - German: Vater - English: father

These last two in particular could merely show that Latin and Germanic languages both have PIE roots. That is to say, in these cases, it is pretty clear the Germans didn't wake up some morning 2000 years ago and suddenly realize that Latin had this great concept that the Germans needed to verbalize so they simply borrowed the existing Latin word which was then passed on to the Old English speakers of Shakespeare's "sceptred isle."

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