1
vote
1answer
49 views

meaning of Republic [closed]

I've been thinking what might be the real meaning of the word Republic? As far as I know the prefix re- gives the base word the meaning of again; as in renew, replace, reclaim. I am wondering what ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Origin and usage of “nu-” (e.g. nu-metal)

Not every dictionary I checked has "nu-" but here are a few examples: nu- dictionary.com — indicating an updated or modern version of something: nu-metal music Bing — new: ...
-1
votes
1answer
71 views

confusion about the 'ch' sound [duplicate]

i am confused about using the "ch" as there are three sound starting with "ch" as-/k/sound, and like these. is there some important rules to find out word formation?.someone please help me.
80
votes
3answers
11k views

Why does “quadratic” describe second power while “quad” usually describes “four”?

In mathematics, quadratic means "involving the second and no higher power of an unknown quantity or variable". But the prefix quad- usually describes something that has to do with four, such as ...
1
vote
0answers
157 views

How meanings of “dis” and “play” construct the meaning of word “display” [closed]

In what way do meanings of "dis" and "play" construct the meaning of word "display"? As I understand it, the prefix "dis" negates what follows e.g., disability, and disadvantage. But I can't quite ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Why doesn't the prefix 'in-' mean the same in “invaluable” and “infamous” as it does in “insufficient” and “incompetent”? [duplicate]

Looking at a Prefix/Suffix chart confirms that the prefix "in-" is supposed to mean 'not' or 'without', just wondering why the exception only occurs for certain words. I don't know if it's an origin ...
1
vote
3answers
80 views

Why is “back-” used in “back-order”?

I understand the meaning of the term "back-order": The item is not available, and will be ordered when it becomes available again. But I can't quite figure out why the prefix "back-" is used, when in ...
3
votes
2answers
351 views

Prefixes milli- and cent- used for years

The prefix "milli-" means "thousandth" (e.g. 1000 millimeters in 1 meter) and the prefix "kilo-" means "thousand" (e.g. 1 kilogram is 1000 grams). Why is the period of 1000 years called a ...
1
vote
1answer
149 views

How did “replace” come to mean “put something in the place of”?

Replace has several meanings, but a common one is "to put something in the place of," as in, "After drinking your cola, I replaced it with a beer." The way in which replace, which seems to most ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

Any connection between akimbo, askance and atremble?

I came across akimbo and askance today and wondered if they were related, with the opening 'a' signifying something. Apparently not: Akimbo — to stand "with hands on hips and elbows projecting ...
8
votes
1answer
413 views

Un-(adjective) but In-(noun) — does it ever go the other way?

Many pairs of words use un- as a prefix for the preferred adjective but in- as a prefix for the preferred noun (e.g. unstable/instability, unequal/inequality, unable/inability, unjust/injustice, ...
3
votes
4answers
182 views

Why is it that denuding something means you strip it rather than dress it?

When we denude something we strip it, like the branches of a tree. That seems a bit inverted to me, shouldn't it be to nude-something?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

intro- vs. intra-

I recently found out that “extrovert” is a misspelling and that it’s actually written extravert. That makes sense, because other words use the same prefix, e.g. extraordinary, extradite, etc., but ...
7
votes
1answer
197 views

What are the correct spelling and regional distribution of “X, schmX” to indicate dismissiveness (e.g., “evidence, schmevidence”)?

There is a curious construct in American English in which a word is stated and then repeated with the prefix "schm-" or "shm-" in order to indicate the speaker's dismissive attitude toward a concern ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

Logical meaning of the word “understand”

To understand something means to be aquainted with it, to know it very well, know how it "ticks". This is one of the basic words that has a direct "meaning" in mind. However, if we "dissect" it, is ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

Connection between 'proxy', 'pronumeral' and 'pronoun'?

I was thinking about the words pronumeral and pronoun; I realized they both share a prefix, and are both proxies for numerals and nouns. I was wondering if there is any connection between the words ...
5
votes
1answer
347 views

Why isn’t “disharmony” spelled “*dysharmony”?

Disharmony is a Greek word with a Latin prefix meaning “absence of harmony” or “bad harmony”. So why not spell it dysharmony, as one spells dysfunction or dyspepsia?
-2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Aforementioned” or “beforementioned” [closed]

I asked a question on the origin of the word aforementioned. To me, it would seem that this word should be beforementioned instead. Why does it begin with afore-? Also, does this mean afore can be ...
0
votes
3answers
8k views

Meaning of the “rupt” suffix/prefix

I was wondering the other day about the word corrupt, found that the suffix "rupt" appears in many words and as a prefix for another set and decided to ask this question: What does "rupt" mean? ...
3
votes
0answers
121 views

What does “a-” before a verb mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The times they are a-changin' The times are a-changing? Why a-? While listening to some Bob Dylan I've noticed how he sometimes uses the construction a-verb (e.g. ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Use of prefixes mis- and mal-

The prefixes mis- and mal- basically mean the same thing. Mal-, from French, meaning "bad, badly, ill" and mis-, from Old English, meaning "bad, wrong". In some cases, mis- can derive from mes- ...
16
votes
3answers
7k views

How does the “be-” prefix change the words to which it is applied? How did it come about?

What does the be- prefix change when applied to adjectives and verbs? There are many such words that seemed to be coined of this process, for example: behold, beget, befallen, beridden, ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

Origins of negative prefixes like in-, un-, il-, ir-, dis-, a-

I've read here about origins of in- and un- negative prefixes. Are there any known origins of other negative prefixes such as il-, ir-, dis-, a-?
15
votes
1answer
7k views

Why “unequal” but “inequality”?

The opposite of "equal" is "unequal", yet there is no word "unequality". Why do we use "inequality" instead?
7
votes
3answers
924 views

Any other words that use “dis-” as an amplifying prefix?

I remember hearing once about the etymology of disgruntled, probably based around a joke about how people can not be gruntled. The explanation given was that there was never a word gruntled, rather ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Where did prefix exceptions originate?

Consider the following words: inflammable invaluable Each of these has the unusual property that its meaning is identical to its counterpart lacking the prefix. In almost all other cases, the ...
29
votes
3answers
3k views

Why are not “infamous” and “inflammable” the opposite of “famous” and “flammable”?

Why are not infamous and inflammable the opposite of famous and flammable, like incomplete, inactivity, inappropriate and so on?