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Looking at the etymology of "equanimous":

1600–10; < L aequanimitās, equiv. to aequ(us) even, plain, equal + anim(us) mind, spirit, feelings + -itās -ity

"aequus" sounds a lot like "aqua"... and I can see how calm water is even and plain. is there any relation between the two? if not, where does each come from, if they can be traced further back?

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This is really more about Latin than English, but anyway.

Aqua comes from the (reconstructed/hypothetical) Proto-Indo-European *akʷā-, "water", whence the Old English ǽ, "river", and a few others (follow the link).

Aequus, on the other hand, is of unknown origin.

  • 2
    Generally speaking, even complete homographs can have completely different etymologies, see e.g. cleave, which we discussed just yesterday. – RegDwigнt Oct 28 '10 at 19:24

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