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Linguistics 110: Wonder of Words > LING 110 Words of the Day > Flashcards

Flashcards in LING 110 Words of the Day Deck (6)
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1

harbinger

GERMANIC


[harbənʤər]

1. one that pioneers in or initiates a major change : precursor

2. one that presages or foreshadows what is to come

“His death was a harbinger of even worse things to come.”

2

harbinger

GERMANIC

[harbənʤər]

[ME herbergere, from AF, host, from herberge camp, lodgings, of Germanic origin; akin to OHG heriberga]

3

concupiscence

LATIN

1. strong desire; especially : sexual desire

“the concupiscence of some members of the Catholic clergy … ”

"the Puritans did not condemn concupiscence but rather the satisfaction of it in ways they deemed illicit"

"according the church theologian St. Augustine, concupiscence is a consequence of original sin"

4

concupiscence

LATIN

[ME, from AF, from Late L concupiscentia, from L concupiscent-, concupiscens, present participle of concupiscere to
desire ardently, from com- + cupere to desire]

First Known Use: 14th century

So it’s a Latin word. The point to note here is the M-W claim that the (underlying) prefix in the word is “com-”. That’s not quite right and you’ll see why very soon. Note that the meaning of the Latin root on its own carries no
necessary connotation of “strong desire” or “sexual desire”.

5

gazelle

ARABIC

any of numerous small to medium graceful and swift African and Asian
antelopes (Gazella and related genera)

6

gazelle

ARABIC

French, from Middle French, from Arabic ghazāl
First Known Use: 1600

There’s really very little change in this borrowing. Note that the orthographic
“-elle” with which the word ends is found in lots of French words. The [ɛ] in
that syllable is a higher vowel than the Arabic original [a], so there’s been
some raising here.