Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘solution’

I was thinking about our term in simple math for the part of an equation following the equals sign.  Generally, we call this the “answer”.  In specific cases, it is the “solution”.  Somewhat familiar with alternate definitions, I began to wonder how these words came to be applied to math.  Here is what I found from the Online Etymology Dictionary about their origins. 

 

Answer – is an Old English word meaning “swearing against”, suggesting a sworn statement rebutting a charge.  As early as the 1300’s it was used to mean an answer to a problem as well. 

 

Solution – In the late 1300’s we received this word from the French – or possibly directly from Latin, solutionem “a loosening or unfastening”.  

 

Remedy – comes from a Latin root meaning literally “to heal” with the “intensive prefix” re- , meaning “fully” or “again.  This definition, “make whole” is a common definition of old words for “heal, cure”, along with “tend to” or “conjure” or “ward off, defend”. 

 

Cure –  *kois- is the suggested Proto-Indo-European root, meaning “be concerned”.  In the late 1300’s it began to be used for “take care of”. 

 

Aid – came to English around 1400 by way of the French, originally from the Latin adiutus “give help to”. 

 

Help – is the Old English helpan “help, support, succor; benefit, do good to; cure, amend”.  Our modern word actually sounds more like the Proto-Indo-European root, *kelb-.

 

Amend – The verb form is now generally supplanted by the shortened form, mend.  But this word has been in English since the 1200’s, “to free from faults, rectify”.  It comes from the Latin prefix ex- and Proto-Indo-European root *mend- “physical defect, fault”.   

 

Fix – is another word likely originating in the Proto-Indo-European, the root *dhigw- “to stick, to fix”.  The sense of “repair” dates from 1737. 

 

Antidote – comes ultimately from the Greek antidoton, literally “given against”. 

 

To God be all glory, 

Lisa of Longbourn

Advertisements

Read Full Post »