Periphery

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Dr. Goodword
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Periphery

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:38 pm

• periphery •


Pronunciation: pê-ri-fê-ri • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. The outer boundary of an object or area, perimeter, edge. 2. A marginal aspect, secondary status of lesser importance than other aspects.

Notes: Remember that the [f] sound is spelled PH in this word. The adjective that comes with this English word is peripheral and the adverb, peripherally. The quality noun is peripherality.

In Play: Periphery originally referred to physical geography and still may be used that way: "The chorus was arranged in a circle around the periphery of the audience, thus enveloping it with the concert." Today, however, it is used more often in its figurative sense: "Women find themselves less and less on the periphery of the business world."

Word History: Today's Good Word was taken from Old French periferie (Modern French périphérie), inherited from Late Latin peripheria, borrowed from Greek peripheria "circumference, outer surface". The Greek word is based on peripheres "rounded", from the verb peripherein "carry around", made up of peri- "around, about" + pherein "to carry". This Greek word was made from the Proto-Indo-European root bher-/bhor- "to carry", which also produced the English verb (to) bear and the noun burden. The initial [bh] sound became [f] in Latin, where we find ferre "to carry" and fortuitus "happening by chance". In Greek it also became pherne "dowry", which we see in paraphernalia "woman's property aside from her dowry". (Today's Good Word was recommended by our long-time, prolific friend William Hupy, certainly not a peripheral contributor to this series.)
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rrentner
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Re: Periphery

Postby rrentner » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:20 pm

Dear Dr. Goodword:

I note that you list the PIE root for Latin ferre which gives us "periphery" as bher-/bhor- "to carry".
Other words like "porter" and "ferry" you claim elsewhere descend from PIE per-/por- "to lead, pass over".

The English word "ferry" seems closer in meaning to "carry" than to "lead" in my opinion. Is there a relationship between these two PIE words?

Secondly, I have cousins with the Portuguese last name Ferreira,(a smith) which I had presumed was related to the English word ferrous, from the Latin ferrum, "iron". (Similarly, ferrocaril is railroad is Spanish, rail of iron, I presume.)

Is "periphery" (<Lat. ferre, carry) related to "ferrous" (<Lat ferrum, iron)?

George Kovac
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Re: Periphery

Postby George Kovac » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:00 pm

Rrenter wrote:
Secondly, I have cousins with the Portuguese last name Ferreira,(a smith) which I had presumed was related to the English word ferrous, from the Latin ferrum, "iron". (Similarly, ferrocaril is railroad is Spanish, rail of iron, I presume.)

Here in bilingual Miami, us English speakers expand our Spanish vocabulary incrementally from desultory sources. I use billboards and retail experiences as my tutors. For example, if you are in Home Depot, look for the aisle labelled “ferretería” to find the hardware piece you need.

As to your point about Ferreira as a Portuguese surname meaning “smith,” I note that my own surname “Kovac” is a cognate for “smith” in Hungarian, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Serbian and Ukrainian.
"The messy layers of human experience get pulled together, and sometimes ordered, by words." Colum McCann, But Always Meeting Ourselves, NYT 6/15/09

rrentner
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Re: Periphery

Postby rrentner » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:22 pm

It would be interesting to compare the different ways to say Smith in various languages, as it's one of the most common surnames, in English at least.
Last edited by rrentner on Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

damoge
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Re: Periphery

Postby damoge » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:11 pm

My maiden name is Ferran. Most of what my father told me about our family history seems to me to be more legend than fact, but I could accept his assertion that we were Ferrans because we had "always" been farriers, iron workers.
According to him, he was the first first son never to have shod a horse, though his grandfather insisted that he make a horseshoe (which was on display in the cellarway). Also according to him, traditionally the first son was the farrier, the second son the horse thief.
Everything works out, one way or another

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LukeJavan8
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Re: Periphery

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:44 pm

:P
-----please, draw me a sheep-----


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