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Old English had on equal footing both the masculine widowa and the feminine widowe, which converge as “widow” in Early Modern English, and which is used for both genders by authors down until the 19th century. “Widower” first occurs in the 14th century as a way of disambiguating “widow”.


Widow essentially translates to "empty house" in one of webster's and the bible's opinions. This needing definition in and of itself, I would posit that the reference is to the fact that women had no standing as far as owning anything, they could not vote, they could not buy or sell property, they could not convey property directly to another person, ...


The most likely option would be root words


Yes, this is the normal way that compound words are formed. The second meaning of proof as defined by the online Merriam-Webster is designed or made to prevent or protect against something harmful So, yes, if you were to coin appleproof it would indeed be understood as something that is safe from apples. The only exception I know of is are numbers. ...


Yes, that would be the usual interpretation. Common example: "childproof" containers for medicines and other potentially dangerous things. And those of us with cats are definitely familiar with the idea of trying to make things catproof; I need to keep the toilet paper covered when not in use or one of mine unrolls it.


Languages evolve, Americans spell and pronounce words differently to British. To me hireable looks less likely to have the word mispronounced. Hireable without an e looks problematic as without the e after the first r the I sound has several options. Possibly a short I sound ?


Michael Quinion, Ologies and Isms: Word Beginnings and Endings (2003) says that the prefix en- for forming verbs and the suffix -en for forming verbs come from very different sources: en- Also em-. Forming verbs. [French, from Latin in-.] The prefix can be added to nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Em- is a variant used before the the consonants b, m, ...


This is an addition to @user2655010's answer as I don't have commenting privileges According to this definition a root is a morpheme that underlies an inflectional or derivational paradigm. And since a morpheme is: any of the minimal grammatical units of a language, each constituting a word or meaningful part of a word, that cannot be divided into smaller ...


What about describing "stop" as a root word and "discontinue" as a root with a prefix? http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~kemmer/Words/rootaffix.html talks about dividing morphemes into roots and affixes.

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