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Above Top Secret - Etymology

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posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 06:46 AM
"It is often forgotten that (dictionaries) are artificial repositories, put together well after the languages they define.
The roots of language are irrational and of a magical nature."
-Jorge Luis Borges, Prologue to "El otro, el mismo."

There are words we use often here on ATS. We use them sometimes without even thinking, presuming we know exactly what they mean. Maybe we do.

But do we all know what they originally meant?

Well with the help of Etymonline, the Online Etymology Dictionary, i have selected certain words that are commonly used within the alternative topics often discussed here on ATS.

Maybe, once again, we will learn something from the past......

*Words/sentences in BOLD are of particluar interest.*


O.E. belyfan, earlier geleafa (Mercian), gelefa (Northumbrian), gelyfan (W.Saxon) "believe," from P.Gmc. *ga-laubjan "hold dear, love," from PIE base *leubh- "to like, desire"


c.1200, "state of life bound by monastic vows," also "conduct indicating a belief in a divine power," from Anglo-Fr. religiun (11c.), from O.Fr. religion "religious community," from L. religionem (nom. religio) "respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods," in L.L. "monastic life" (5c.); according to Cicero, derived from relegare "go through again, read again," from re- "again" + legere "read" (see lecture). However, popular etymology among the later ancients (and many modern writers) connects it with religare "to bind fast" (see rely), via notion of "place an obligation on," or "bond between humans and gods." Another possible origin is religiens "careful," opposite of negligens.


c.1300, "knowledge (of something) acquired by study," also "a particular branch of knowledge," from O.Fr. science, from L. scientia "knowledge," from sciens (gen. scientis), prp. of scire "to know," probably originally "to separate one thing from another, to distinguish," related to scindere "to cut, divide," from PIE base *skei- (cf. Gk. skhizein "to split, rend, cleave," Goth. skaidan, O.E. sceadan "to divide, separate;" see shed (v.)).


c.1300, from O.Fr. filosofie (12c.), from L. philosophia, from Gk. philosophia "love of knowledge, wisdom," from philo- "loving" + sophia "knowledge, wisdom," from sophis "wise, learned."
Meaning "system a person forms for conduct of life" is attested from 1771.


1653, "study of the soul," probably coined mid-16c. in Germany by Melanchthon as Mod.L. psychologia, from Gk. psykhe- "breath, spirit, soul" (see psyche) + logia "study of." Meaning "study of the mind" first recorded 1748, from G. Wolff's Psychologia empirica (1732); main modern behavioral sense is from 1895.


1387, "branch of speculation which deals with the first causes of things," from M.L. metaphysica, neut. pl. of Medieval Gk. (ta) metaphysika, from Gk. ta meta ta physika "the (works) after the Physics," title of the 13 treatises which traditionally were arranged after those on physics and natural sciences in Aristotle's writings. The name was given c.70 B.C.E. by Andronicus of Rhodes, and was a ref. to the customary ordering of the books, but it was misinterpreted by L. writers as meaning "the science of what is beyond the physical."


c.1300, from O.Fr. conspirer, from L. conspirare "to agree, unite, plot," lit. "to breathe together," from com- "together" + spirare "to breathe" (see spirit). Conspiracy is from 1386; conspiracy theory is from 1909.


1592, "conception, mental scheme," from L.L. theoria (Jerome), from Gk. theoria "contemplation, speculation, a looking at, things looked at," from theorein "to consider, speculate, look at," from theoros "spectator," from thea "a view" + horan "to see." Sense of "principles or methods of a science or art (rather than its practice)" is first recorded 1613. That of "an explanation based on observation and reasoning" is from 1638. The verb theorize is recorded from 1638.


"financial institution," 1474, from either O.It. banca or M.Fr. banque (itself from the O.It. term), both meaning "table" (the notion is of the moneylender's exchange table), from a Gmc. source (cf. O.H.G. bank "bench"); see bank (2). The verb meaning "to put confidence in" (U.S. colloquial) is attested from 1884.


1378 (n.), 1399 (adj.), from L. secretus "set apart, withdrawn, hidden," originally pp. of secernere "to set apart," from se- "without, apart," prop. “on one's own” (from PIE *sed-, from base *s(w)e-; see idiom) + cernere "separate" (see crisis). The verb meaning "to keep secret" (described in OED as "obsolete") is attested from 1595. Secretive is attested from 1853. Secret agent first recorded 1715; secret service is from 1737; secret weapon is from 1936.


1531, "friendly association with others," from O.Fr. societe, from L. societatem (nom. societas), from socius "companion" (see social). Meaning "group of people living together in an ordered community" is from 1639. Sense of "fashionable people and their doings" is first recorded 1823.


L. adv. and prep. meaning "down from, off, concerning." Used as a prefix in Eng., as in defrost (1895), defuse (1943), decaffeination (1927), etc. Usually felt as meaning "down," but in L. it could also be completive in intensive (cf. demerit), perhaps with a sense of "down to the bottom, totally.”


"nonsense," 1900, short for bunkum. During the protracted Missouri statehood debates, on Feb. 25, 1820, N.C. Representative Felix Walker began what promised to be a "long, dull, irrelevant speech," and he resisted calls to cut it short by saying he was bound to say something that could appear in the newspapers in the home district and prove he was on the job. "I shall not be speaking to the House," he confessed, "but to Buncombe." Bunkum has been Amer.Eng. slang for "nonsense" since 1847.


1460, from M.Fr. militaire, from L. militaris "of soldiers or war," from miles (gen. militis) "soldier," perhaps ult. from Etruscan, or else meaning "one who marches in a troop," and thus connected to Skt. melah "assembly," Gk. homilos "assembled crowd, throng." The noun sense of "soldiers generally" is attested from 1757. Military-industrial complex coined 1961 in farewell speech of U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower. Militarism is first recorded 1864, from Fr. militarisme.


late O.E. (c.1050), wyrre, werre, from O.N.Fr. werre "war" (Fr. guerre), from Frank. *werra, from P.Gmc. *werso (cf. O.S. werran, O.H.G. werran, Ger. verwirren "to confuse, perplex"). Cognates suggest the original sense was "to bring into confusion." There was no common Gmc. word for "war" at the dawn of historical times. O.E. had many poetic words for "war" (guð, heaðo, hild, wig, all common in personal names), but the usual one to translate L. bellum was gewin "struggle, strife" (related to win). Sp., Port., It. guerra are from the same source; Romanic peoples turned to Gmc. for a word to avoid L. bellum because its form tended to merge with bello- "beautiful." The verb meaning "to make war on" is recorded from 1154. First record of war time is 1387.


1795, in specific sense of "government intimidation during the Reign of Terror in France" (1793-July 1794), from Fr. terrorisme (1798), from L. terror (see terror).
"If the basis of a popular government in peacetime is virtue, its basis in a time of revolution is virtue and terror -- virtue, without which terror would be barbaric; and terror, without which virtue would be impotent."

[edit on 05/08/2009 by LiveForever8]

posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 06:47 AM
General sense of "systematic use of terror as a policy" is first recorded in Eng. 1798. Terrorize "coerce or deter by terror" first recorded 1823. Terrorist in the modern sense dates to 1947, especially in reference to Jewish tactics against the British in Palestine -- earlier it was used of extremist revolutionaries in Russia (1866); and Jacobins during the French Revolution (1795) -- from Fr. terroriste. The tendency of one party's terrorist to be another's guerilla or freedom fighter was noted in ref. to the British action in Cyprus (1956) and the war in Rhodesia (1973). The word terrorist has been applied, at least retroactively, to the Maquis resistance in occupied France in World War II (e.g. in the "Spectator," Oct. 20, 1979).


c.1384, "revelation, disclosure," from Church L. apocalypsis "revelation," from Gk. apokalyptein "uncover," from apo- "from" (see apo-) + kalyptein "to cover, conceal" (see Calypso). The Christian end-of-the-world story is part of the revelation in John of Patmos' book "Apokalypsis" (a title rendered into Eng. as "Apocalypse" c.1230 and "Revelations" by Wyclif c.1380).


1599, pl. of L. illuminatus "enlightened" (in figurative sense), pp. of illuminare (see illumination). Originally applied to a 16c. Spanish sect (the Alumbrados), then to other sects; since 1797 used as a translation of Ger. Illuminaten, name of a secret society founded 1776 in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, and holding deistic and republican principles; hence used generally of free-thinkers and sarcastically of those professing intellectual enlightenment (1816).


1376, originally a traveling guild of masons with a secret code; in the early 17c. they began accepting honorary members and teaching them the secrets and lore, which by 1717 had developed into the fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons. The exact origin of the free- is a subject of dispute. Some see a corruption of Fr. frère "brother," from frèremaçon "brother mason;" others say it was because the masons worked on "free" standing stones; still others see them as "free" from the control of local guilds.


1520s, from L. congressus "a meeting, hostile encounter," pp. of congredi "meet with, fight with," from com- "together" + gradi "to walk," from gradus "a step" (see grade). Sense of "meeting of delegates" is first recorded 1670s. Meaning "sexual union" is from 1580s. Used in ref. to the national legislative body of the American states since 1775 (though since 1765 in America as a name for proposed bodies). Congress of Vienna met Nov. 1, 1814, to June 8, 1815, and redrew the map of Europe with an eye to creating a balance of powers after the disruptions of Napoleon.


"mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions," 1891 (earlier paranoea 1811), from Gk. paranoia "mental derangement, madness," from paranoos "mentally ill, insane," from para- "beside, beyond" + noos "mind." Paranoid (adj.) is first attested 1904, from paranoia + Gk. -oeides "like," from eidos "form, shape" (see -oid). The noun meaning "a paranoid person" is attested from 1922.


1531 (in Anglo-L. from c.1237), via Fr. and It., from Arabic hashishiyyin "hashish-users," pl. of hashishiyy, from hashish (q.v.). A fanatical Ismaili Muslim sect of the time of the Crusades, under leadership of the "Old Man of the Mountains" (translates Arabic shaik-al-jibal, name applied to Hasan ibu-al-Sabbah), with a reputation for murdering opposing leaders after intoxicating themselves by eating hashish. The pl. suffix -in was mistaken in Europe for part of the word (cf. Bedouin).


c.1374, from O.Fr. ignorant, from L. ignorantia, from ignorantem, prp. of ignorare from in- "not" + Old L. gnarus "aware, acquainted with," from Porot-L. suffixed form *gno-ro-, related to gnoscere "to know" (see know). Form influenced by ignotus "unknown." Cf. also see uncouth. Colloquial sense of "ill-mannered" first attested 1886. Ignorance is attested c.1225, from O.Fr. ignorance, from L. ignorantia.


1529, "science of government," from politic (adj.), modeled on Aristotle's ta politika "affairs of state," the name of his book on governing and governments, which was in Eng. 1450 as "Polettiques."
"Politicks is the science of good sense, applied to public affairs, and, as those are forever changing, what is wisdom to-day would be folly and perhaps, ruin to-morrow. Politicks is not a science so properly as a business. It cannot have fixed principles, from which a wise man would never swerve, unless the inconstancy of men's view of interest and the capriciousness of the tempers could be fixed." [Fisher Ames (1758–1808)]
Meaning "a person's political allegiances or opinions" is from 1769. Political animal transl. Gk. politikon zoon (Aristotle, Politics, I.ii.9) "an animal intended to live in a city; a social animal." Politically correct first attested 1970; abbreviation P.C. is from 1986.


The English word "money" dates to c.1290, "coinage, metal currency," from old French moneie, from Latin monēta "mint, coinage," from Monēta = "she who warns", a title of the Roman goddess Juno, as money was coined in or near the Capitoline Temple of Juno in Rome.


1574, from M.Fr. democratie, from M.L. democratia (13c.), from Gk. demokratia, from demos "common people," originally "district" (see demotic), + kratos "rule, strength" (see -cracy). Democratic for one of the two major U.S. political parties is 1829, though members of the Democratic-Republican (formerly Anti-Federal) party had been called Democrats since 1798; though colloquial abbrev. Demo dates to 1793.


1604, "state in which supreme power rests in the people," from Fr. république, from L. respublica (abl. republica), lit. res publica "public interest, the state," from res "affair, matter, thing" + publica, fem. of publicus "public" (see public). Republican (adj.) "belonging to a republic" is recorded from 1712; in noun sense of "one who favors a republic" it is recorded from 1697; and in sense of a member of a specific U.S. political party (the Anti-Federalists) from 1782, though this was not the ancestor of the modern Republican Party, which dates from 1854. Republicrat in U.S. political jargon usually meaning "moderate," is attested from 1940.


Robot comes from the Czech word "robot," which means "worker." In 1923, Karl Capek, a well-known, Czech, science-fiction writer at the time, wrote a futuristic thriller about a nightmarish scenario in which the machines have taken over (a la, the "Terminator") and implanted circuitry in humans to make them into mindless zombies willing to serve them as workers or "robots."


In the word mortgage, the mort- is from the Latin word mori (via old french mort) for death and -gage is from the sense of that word meaning a pledge to forfeit something of value if a debt is not repaid. So mortgage is literally a death pledge.


Greek for "no where".

And finally......


1398, from Gk. etymologia, from etymon "true sense" (neut. of etymos "true," related to eteos "true") + logos "word." In classical times, of meanings; later, of histories. Latinized by Cicero as veriloquium.

So, i hope you have enjoyed learning about the true origins of the words we use everyday.

Please visit the Etymology Online Dictionary with your own words and add them, as long as they seem relevant. There will be many i have missed.

* Mods...i appreciate this isnt exactly a conspiracy, but i believe it to be of great relevance to all things conspiracy related, thus, should remain here*

posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 07:29 AM
This is a very good thread. Thanks for all the good info.
There are many other words we could add on this thread, would be interesting to see more. S&F for that!

posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 08:22 AM
reply to post by LiveForever8


When we know what was originally being said for example "Holy" means "Healthy" as in "the healthy spirit", THEN we can understand what the words have been turned into meaning and how much power words really do have.

Great post!!


posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 08:27 AM

Originally posted by LiveForever8
"It is often forgotten that (dictionaries) are artificial repositories, put together well after the languages they define.
The roots of language are irrational and of a magical nature."
-Jorge Luis Borges, Prologue to "El otro, el mismo."


"financial institution," 1474, from either O.It. banca or M.Fr. banque (itself from the O.It. term), both meaning "table" (the notion is of the moneylender's exchange table), from a Gmc. source (cf. O.H.G. bank "bench"); see bank (2). The verb meaning "to put confidence in" (U.S. colloquial) is attested from 1884.

The Judge rules for the bench, that is "The Bank".

These are fun ones....

posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 10:19 AM
reply to post by lagenese

No problem, it was really informative to put it together.

Yes, im sure there are so many more, feel free to add any interesting ones


posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 10:35 AM
i would like to add another which is very interesting.


"a final conflict," 1811, figurative use of name in Rev. xvi.16, place of the great and final conflict, from Heb. Har Megiddon "Mount of Megiddo," city in central Palestine, site of important Israeli battles.

posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 01:09 PM
reply to post by letthereaderunderstand

Yes, very good example

If "con" is the opposite of "pro," then what is the opposite of progress?

Just thought i would add that


posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 01:25 PM
late 14c., "revelation, disclosure," from Church L. apocalypsis "revelation," from Gk. apokalyptein "uncover," from apo- "from" (see apo-) + kalyptein "to cover, conceal" (see Calypso). The Christian end-of-the-world story is part of the revelation in John of Patmos' book "Apokalypsis" (a title rendered into Eng. as "Apocalypse" c.1230 and "Revelations" by Wyclif c.1380).

I hate when people use apocalypse to describe the end... or use it interchangeably with Armageddon.

posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 02:13 PM
reply to post by Vicious Jones

Couldn't agree more. I would welcome the true meaning of the word apocalypse......"disclosure"

I personally think Robot = Worker is highly ironic.

Money = "Warning" too.

Utopia = "no where" is rather poetic.

Im off to find some more


posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 05:47 PM

mid-13c., from O.Fr. crimne, from L. crimen (gen. criminis) "charge, indictment, offense," from cernere "to decide, to sift" (see crisis). But Klein rejects this and suggests *cri-men, which would originally have been "cry of distress." The L. word is glossed in O.E. by facen, also "deceit, fraud, treachery." Crime wave first attested 1920 (in headline in the "Times" of London).


Jordan Maxwell - Words to Research

There are some unbelievable definitions on there


posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 05:03 AM

1580s, from L. initiationem (nom. initiatio) "participation in secret rites," from initiatus, pp. of initiare "originate, initiate," from initium (see initial). Initiate (v.) is c.1600, from L. initiatus, pp. of initiare. The noun meaning "one who has been initiated" is first recorded 1811.


"automaton resembling a human being," 1727, from Mod.L. androides, from Gk. andro- "human" + eides "form, shape." Listed as "rare" in OED (1879), popularized from c.1951 by science fiction writers.


Lucifer is Latin for "Light Bringer". The Hebrew for the same, Haleal, means "adversary." The passage in Isaiah (the only place in the Old Testament that mentions Lucifer) uses the Hebrew term for the Morning Star (ie, the planet Venus). The passage refers to the King of Babylon sarcastically, saying that he considered himself to be like God, just as the Morning Star is a bright light in the sky, but pales in comparison to the sun.


A member of a nation or community which does not accept the "true" religion, or does not worship the "true" God; thus, in short, a heathen. In earlier use it meant essentially a non-Christian, and thus included Muslims and even Jews. The word "pagan" comes from the Latin "paganus" which meant villager or rustic; civilian or non-militant and was the direct opposite of "miles": a soldier or one of the army


The word "blessing" is related in English to the word "blood."


From Liebe (German), which is from the Latin for "Libido," which comes from the Latin "Libere" (free, as in "Liberty").


A juggernaut is a term used to describe an unstoppable force, something that crushes everything in its path.

This word comes from the Sanskrit word "JagannÄtha", meaning "Lord of the universe". This is one of the many names of Krisha from the ancient Vedic scripts of India.

posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 08:11 PM

1530s, from M.L. anarchia, from Gk. anarkhia "lack of a leader," noun of state from anarkhos "rulerless," from an- "without" + arkhos "leader" (see archon). Anarchism is attested from 1642. Anarch (n.) "leader of leaderlessness," a deliciously paradoxical word, was used by Milton, Pope, Byron. Anarcho-syndicalism is first recorded 1913.


O.E. gast "soul, spirit, life, breath," from P.Gmc. *ghoizdoz (cf. O.S. gest, O.Fris. jest, M.Du. gheest, Ger. Geist "spirit, ghost"), from PIE base *ghois- "to be excited, frightened" (cf. Skt. hedah "wrath;" Avestan zaesha- "horrible, frightful;" Goth. usgaisjan, O.E. gæstan "to frighten"). This was the usual W.Gmc. word for "supernatural being," and the primary sense seems to have been connected to the idea of "to wound, tear, pull to pieces."


early 13c., "power of a lord or master, jurisdiction," from Anglo-Fr. daunger, O.Fr. dangier "power to harm, mastery," alteration (due to assoc. with damnum) of dongier, from V.L. *dominarium "power of a lord," from L. dominus "lord, master" (see domain).


M.E. laverd, loverd (13c.), from O.E. hlaford "master of a household, ruler, superior," also "God" (translating L. Dominus, though O.E. drihten was used more often), earlier hlafweard, lit. "one who guards the loaves," from hlaf "bread, loaf" + weard "keeper, guardian, ward." Cf. lady, and O.E. hlafæta "household servant," lit. "loaf-eater."


early 13c., from O.Fr., noun use of servant "serving, waiting," prp. of servir "to attend, wait upon" (see serve). Meaning "professed lover, one devoted to the service of a lady" is from mid-14c.


O.E. blod, from P.Gmc. *blodam (cf. O.Fris. blod, O.N. bloð, M.Du. bloet, O.H.G. bluot, Ger. Blut, Goth. bloþ), from PIE *bhlo-to-, perhaps meaning "to swell, gush, spurt," or "that which bursts out" (cf. Goth. bloþ "blood," bloma "flower"), from suffixed form of *bhle-, extended form of *bhel- "to thrive, bloom"

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:38 AM

1390s, from O.Fr. consomption, from L. consumptionem (nom. consumptio) "a using up, wasting," from consumptus, pp. of consumere (see consume). Earliest sense in Eng. was of wasting disease, in which it replaced O.E. yfeladl "the evil disease."


posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 03:34 PM

Quote by Ganid
Then, you can learn how Government has made you a 'plantation slave', subject to the 'harvesting' of the fruits of your labor. If you look up the definition of 'farming' in a good dictionary, you will find that it originally meant 'tax collection' from 'owned slaves'.


c.1300, from O.Fr. ferme "lease," from M.L. firma "fixed payment," from L. firmare "to fix, settle, confirm, strengthen," from firmus "firm" (see firm (adj.)). Sense of "tract of leased land" is first recorded 1334; that of "cultivated land" (leased or not) is 1523.

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