Adventures in Etymology: Syncopation

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Syncopation

Syncopation by Mister Asta (Flickr) from 1954's "The First Book of Jazz" by Langston Hughes - illustrations by Cliff Roberts. Used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons licence

Syncopation by Mister Asta (Flickr) “from 1954’s “The First Book of Jazz” by Langston Hughes – illustrations by Cliff Roberts”.
Used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons licence

Reason for Adventure

I came across this great word in Above/Below by Stephanie Campisi and Ben Peek (to be more specific, in Above ) to describe the main character’s heart beat.AboveBelow-cover1-300x246

Dictionary.com Definitions/Origins

Pronunciation:
sing-kuhpey-shuhn, sin-kuh-pey-shuh n

Form:
noun

Definition:
1. Music. a shifting of the normal accent, usually by stressing the normally unaccented beats.
2. Something, as a rhythm or a passage of music, that is syncopated.
3. Also called counterpointcounterpoint rhythm. Prosody the use of rhetorical stress at
variance with the metrical stress of a 
line of verse, as the stress on and  and of  in
Come praise Colonus’ horsesand come praise/The wine-dark of the wood’s intricacies.
4. Grammar syncope.

World English Dictionary
1. Music
a. The displacement of the usual rhythmic accent away from a strong beat onto a weak beat
b. a note, beat, rhythm, etc, produced by syncopation
2. another word for syncope

Origin: 
1525-35;  < Medieval Latin syncopātiōn-  (stem of syncopātiō ), equivalent to Late Latin syncopāt
us (see syncopate) + -iōn- -ion

Related forms:
non·syn·co·pa·tion, noun

Sources:

syncopation. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved June 09, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/syncopation

syncopation. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved June 09, 2014, from Dictionary.com website:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/syncopation

Online Etymology Dictionary Information

syncopation (n.)1530s, “contraction of a word by omission of middle sounds,” from Medieval Latin syncopationem (nominative syncopatio) “a shortening or contraction,” from past participle stem of syncopare “to shorten,” also “to faint away, to swoon,” from Late Latin syncope (see syncope). Musical sense is attested from 1590s.

Source:

Harper, D. (2014). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved June 09, 2014 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=syncopation&allowed_in_frame=0

 

Adventures in Etymology: Dyscalculia

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Dyscalculia

Reason for Adventure

This is an Adventure in Etymology that comes purely from my day-to-day non-reading life. One of my Facebook friends (and a Book of Faces Bookbagger!) introduced me to the word, and the knowledge that there is a learning disability for numbers and maths as dyslexia is to words and letters. As I’ve never been great with maths I right away connected with the word, plus it’s a fantastic sounding word – very Latin 😛 – so perfect for this feature.

Dictionary.com Definitions/Origins

Pronunciation:
dis-kal-kyoo-lee-uh

Form:
noun

Definition:
1. acalculia. (Dictionary.com based on Random House Dictionary)

2. severe difficulty in making simple mathematical calculations, due to cerebral disease or injury (Collins English Dictionary)

3.  Impairment of the ability to solve mathematical problems, usually resulting from brain
dysfunction. (The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary)

Origin: 
1950–55; dys- + calcul(ate) + -ia

Sources:

dyscalculia. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dyscalculia

dyscalculia. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from Dictionary.com website:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dyscalculia

dyscalculia. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from Dictionary.com website:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dyscalculia

Online Etymology Dictionary Information

dys-
word-forming element meaning “bad, ill, abnormal,” from Greek dys-, inseparable prefix “destroying the good sense of a word or increasing its bad sense” [Liddell and Scott], “bad, hard, unlucky,” from PIE root (and prefix) *dus- “bad, ill, evil” (cf. Sanskrit dus-, Old Persian duš- “ill,” Old English to-, Old High German zur-, Gothic tuz- “un-“), a derivative of *deu- “to lack, be wanting” (cf. Greek dein “to lack, want”). Very productive in ancient Greek, where it could attach even to proper names (e.g. dysparis “unhappy Paris”); its entries take up nine columns in Liddell and Scott. Among the words formed from it were some English might covet: dysouristos “fatally favorable, driven by a too-favorable wind;” dysadelphos “unhappy in one’s brothers;” dysagres “unlucky in fishing;” dysantiblepos “hard to look in the face.”

calculate (v.)
1560s, “to compute, to estimate by mathematical means,” from Latin calculatus, past participle of calculare “to reckon, compute,” from calculus (see calculus). Meaning “to plan, devise” is from 1650s. Replaced earlier calculen (mid-14c.), from Old French calculer. Related: Calculable.

*As Dyscalculia wasn’t listed this was the closest I could get*

Source:

Harper, D. (2014). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved March 24, 2014 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=calculate&allowed_in_frame=0

Harper, D. (2014). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved March 24, 2014 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=dys-&allowed_in_frame=0

For more information on Dyscalculia go to www.dyscalculia.org 🙂

Adventures in Etymology: Oleaginous

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Oleaginous

Oily, snowy, slushy puddle by Moi of Ra (Flickr) used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons License

Oily, snowy, slushy puddle by Moi of Ra (Flickr) used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons License

Reason for Adventure

This fantastic word was in Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman describing the voice of a particularly slimy character.Neverwhere (1)

Dictionary.com Definitions/Origins

Pronunciation:
oh-lee-aj-uh-nuhs

Form:
adjective

Definition:

1. Having the nature or qualities of oil.
2. Containing oil.
3. Producing oil.
4. Unctuous; fawning; smarmy.

Origin: 
1625–35;  < Latin oleāginus  of the olive, derivative of olea olive

Related forms:
o·le·ag·i·nous·ness, noun

Source:
oleaginous. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved November 06, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/oleaginous

Online Etymology Dictionary Information

oleaginous (adj.) 1630s, from French oléagineux (14c.), from Latin oleaginus “of the olive,” from olea “olive,” alteration of oliva (see olive) by influence of oleum “oil.”

Source:

Harper, D. (2012). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved November 06, 2013 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=oleaginous&allowed_in_frame=0

Adventures in Etymology: Gnosis

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Gnosis

Arcane Knowledge by ~rustymermaid (DeviantART) used with artist's permission

Arcane Knowledge by ~rustymermaid (DeviantART) used with artist’s permission

Reason for Adventure

Used in Kraken by China Miéville which made me remember what a great word it is!

Dictionary.com Definitions/Origins

1.

Pronunciation:
noh-sis
Form:
noun
Definition:
Knowledge of spiritual matters; mystical knowledge.
Origin:
1695–1705;  < Neo-Latin  < Greek gnṓsis  a seeking to know, equivalent to gnō-,  base of gignṓskein know + -sis -sis

2.

-gnosis

Definition:
A combining form meaning “knowledge,” used in the formation of compound words: prognosis.
Origin:
< Latin -gnōsis  < Greek;  see gnosis

 

Source:

gnosis. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved September 23, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gnosis

Online Etymology Dictionary Information

gnosis (n.)
“special knowledge of spiritual mysteries,” 1703, from Greek gnosis “investigation, knowledge,” in Christian writers, “higher knowledge of spiritual things” (see gnostic (adj.)).

Gnostic (n.)
1580s, “believer in a mystical religious doctrine of spiritual knowledge,” from Late Latin Gnosticus, from Late Greek Gnostikos, noun use of adj. gnostikos “knowing, able to discern,” from gnostos “knowable,” from gignoskein “to learn, to come to know” (see know). Applied to various early Christian sects that claimed direct personal knowledge beyond the Gospel or the Church hierarchy.

gnostic (adj.)
“relating to knowledge,” 1650s, from Greek gnostikos “knowing, able to discern,” from gnostos “known, perceived, understood,” from gignoskein “to learn, to come to know” (see know).

Sources:

Harper, D. (2012). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved September 23, 2013, from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=gnosis&allowed_in_frame=0

Harper, D. (2012). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved September 23, 2013, from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=gnostic&allowed_in_frame=0

Adventures in Etymology: Mansell/Mansel

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Mansell/Mansel

Abbey of Saint-Vincent, now Bellevue high school - Le Mans, Sarthe, France used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Abbey of Saint-Vincent, now Bellevue high school – Le Mans, Sarthe, France used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Reason for Adventure

Two characters in two books I was reading had the surname (or variations of) Mansell – the main character of The Diviner’s Son by Gary Crew, Christopher Mansell, and the local librarian in Among Others by Jo Walton, Greg Mansel. Because this is purely a surname and not a word as well (unlike Griffin) I have used Ancestry.com/Dictionary of American Family Names as sources instead of Dictionary.com and the  Online Etymology Dictionary.

Mansell Name Meaning/Origins

(of Norman origin): habitational or regional name from Old French mansel ‘inhabitant of Le Mans or the surrounding area of Maine’. The place was originally named in Latin (ad) Ceromannos, from the name of the Gaulish tribe living there, the Ceromanni. The name was reduced to Celmans and then became Le Mans as a result of the mistaken identification of the first syllable with the Old French demonstrative adjective.status name for a particular type of feudal tenant, Anglo-Norman French mansel, one who occupied a manse (Late Latin mansa ‘dwelling’), a measure of land sufficient to support one family.some early examples, such as Thomas filius Manselli (Northumbria 1256), point to derivation from a personal name, perhaps the Germanic derivative of Mann 2 Latinized as Manzellinus.

Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press (as quoted on Ancestry.com)

Mansel Name Meaning/Origin

English: variant spelling of Mansell.

Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press (as quoted on Ancestry.com)

Sources:

Ancestry.com. (2013). Mansell Family History. Retrieved from:http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=mansell

Ancestry.com. (2013). Mansel Family History. Retrieved from: http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=mansel

Hanks, P. (Ed.). (2003). Dictionary of American family names. [Oxford]:Oxford University Press

Adventures in Etymology: Exegesis

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Exegesis

Gutenberg bible by JMWK used under Attribution 2.0 Generic Creative Commons Licence

Gutenberg bible by JMWK  (Flickr) used under Attribution 2.0 Generic Creative Commons Licence

Reason for Adventure

Another brilliant word found in The Sandman by Neil Gaimani think this one was in the second volume, The Doll’s House.

Dictionary.com Definitions/Origins

Pronunciation:
ek-si-jee-sis
Form:
noun, plural ex·e·ge·ses  [-seez]
Definition:
Critical explanation or interpretation of a text or portion of a text, especially of the Bible.
Origin:
1610–20;  < Greek exḗgēsis  an interpretation, explanation, equivalent to ex- ex-3  + ( h ) ēgē-  (verbid stemof hēgeîsthai  to guide) + -sis -sis

Source:

exegesis. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved May 29, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/exegesis

Online Etymology Dictionary Information

exegesis (n.)1610s, from Greek exegesis “explanation, interpretation,” from exegeisthai “explain, interpret,” from ex “out” (see ex- (2)) + hegeisthai “to lead, guide,” from PIE root *sag-. Related: Exegetical.

Source:

Harper, D. (2012). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved May 29, 2013 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=exegesis&allowed_in_frame=0

Adventures in Etymology: Triumvirate

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Triumvirate

Triumvirate by ~BlackSeaFoam (DeviantART) used with artist's permission

Triumvirate by ~BlackSeaFoam (DeviantART) used with artist’s permission

Reason for Adventure

Reading the first volume of The Sandman by Neil Gaiman (Preludes and Nocturnes) I can across this word because when The Sandman visits hell to find the whereabouts of one of his possessions, he is told by Lucifer that the realm is no longer ruled by himself alone but is a triumvirate consisting of him, Azazel and Beelzebub.

Dictionary.com Definitions/Origins

Pronunciation:
trahy-uhm-ver-it, -vuh-reyt
Form:
noun
Definition:
1. Roman History . the office or magistracy of a triumvir.
2. a government of three officers or magistrates functioning jointly.
3. a coalition of three magistrates or rulers for joint administration.
4. any association of three in office or authority.
5. any group or set of three.
Origin:
1575–85;  < Latin triumvirātus.  See triumvir-ate3

Source:
triumvirate. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved May 10, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/triumvirate

Online Etymology Dictionary Information

triumvirate (n.) 1580s, from Latin triumviratus, from triumvir (see triumvir).

triumvir (n.) “one of three men in the same office or of the same authority,” 1570s, from Latin triumvir, from Old Latin phrase trium virum, genitive plural of tres viri “three men,” from tres “three” + viri, plural of vir “man” (see virile).

Sources:

Harper, D. (2012). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved May 10, 2013 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=triumvirate&allowed_in_frame=0

Harper, D. (2012). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved May 10, 2013 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=triumvir&allowed_in_frame=0