Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another Greek connection

In Elementary Greek, we learned the verb pher- meaning "to bear or bring". In our new Greek course, Athenaze, they translate it as "to carry". What English word can you think of that has a similar sound and a similar meaning? Besides pheromone, of course, or any word that looks like it comes from Greek. How about ferry, either the noun or the verb? We had to look it up to see if it came from Greek. Nope, it comes from an Old English word "ferian", to transport, from Germanic "farjan", to ferry. So now we have to look back at Indo-European roots, to see if there's a connection. The Online Etymology Dictionary gives the Proto Indo European root *por as the source of ferry, and *bher as the PIE source of pherein. Thefreedictionary gives the Indo-European root as per-.

So far, no connection, but I'll keep looking.

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