love me, do; and I will love you — and indeed — shall love:love
All days. TO THE LOVE OF WORDS, THEIR MEANINGS AND MANNER, LOVE DOUGLAS HARPER
Any day should be about love. Love found, love newly discovered, long savored. It is the holding, the sharing.
A love of the work, the practice of living, [loving, living] the character of our efforts in making something profound — content newly named, written and known — shared and savored, in that sharing.
But, in exploring the emotion on any attribute of human experience, language, the content of how we connect, relate (Latin, relatus –– to “carry“.) and share with the other, with each other, I go back,
I go deep.
I was speaking to some people — students at my office — about the heart of language that we know — being from the “west”, that is, the root of the languages of the western hemisphere.
And in seeking out the truth, the heart of the word — the etymon — what the ancient Greeks called the authentic meaning of the word as a spoken prayer, a powerful — even magical — phrasing; a word that is hidden, taboo — that can be no longer pronounced, a name of God, or a common word whose roots are long forgotten, there are concealed layers that lie beneath.
And in exploring that — looking at the etymology, you travel back along the thread of time: your chosen word is culled from Old English, then French, then Medieval Latin, thence the Latin of the Romans, moving back to the Greek, the Semitic branching, even then to the roots of the so-called cradle of civilization, the cultures of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, Mesopotamia. But north of Iraq, west of India, east of Turkey, south of eastern Europe is what’s been called the real valley of our founding languages — spreading north, east, south and west — in spreading the seed roots, the syllable sounds of the multitudinous ways in which we speak. The name for this linguistic theory is Proto Indo-European — the roots of the root of nearly all forms of communications in the west, as well as the near east.
So in contemplating love, the broad temple of it, the altar of the language of love — I go back, far back. Decades, centuries, millennia — to scout the associations of how words — and their worlds — are sensed, known and experienced.
Loving love, I go here:
What about love, and finding it?
That love, affect: Old English — lufu “love, affection, friendliness,” from Proto Germanic: *lubo (cf. Old Frisian liaf, German lieb, Gothic liufs “dear, beloved;” not found elsewhere as a noun, except Old High German: luba, German: Liebe), from Proto Indo European *leubh– “to care, desire, love” (cf. Latin: lubet, later libet”pleases;” Sanskrit: lubhyati “desires;” Old Church Slavonic: l’ubu “dear, beloved;” Lithuanian: liaupse “song of praise”).
Meaning “a beloved person” is from c.1225.
Play for love — for the game? Love, lost: love, no love lost — for nothing: the sense “no score” (in tennis, etc.) is 1742, from the notion of “playing for love,” i.e. “for nothing” (1678).Love-letter is attested from c.1240; love-song from c.1310. To be in love with (someone) is from 1508.
Love life “one’s collective amorous activities” is from 1919, originally a term in psychological jargon.
Phrase make love is attested from 1580 in the sense “pay amorous attention to;” to fall in love is attested from 1423.
The phrase no love lost (between two people) is ambiguous and was used 17c. in ref. to two who love each other well (c.1640) as well as two who have no love for each other (1622).
Old English: lufian, from Proto Germanic: *lubojanan, from root of love (n.). Love-hate (adj.) “ambivalent” is from 1937, originally a term in psychological jargon.
1595, “small species of W.African parrot, noted for the remarkable attention mating pairs pay to one another;” fig. sense of “a lover” is attested from 1911.
HOLDING . . . THE HEART IS A HOLDING VESSEL:
“Hold hands, you lovebirds.” [Emil Sitka]
And loving long, loving true…
c.1300, luue langing, from love (n.) + inf. of long (v.).
And a sense of contentment, the continent of love, freshly found…
god of love, c.1386, from Gk., lit. “love,” related to eran “to love,” erasthai “to love, desire,” of unknown origin. In the language of Ancient Greek: there is a distinguishment of four different kinds of love: eros “sexual love;” phileo “have affection for;” agapao “have regard for, be contented with;” and stergo, used especially of the love of parents and children or a ruler and his subjects.
1607, from Gk. agapan “greet with affection, love” (used by early Christians for their “love feast” held in connection with the Lord’s Supper), from agapan “to love,” of unknown origin. In modern use, often in simpler sense of “Christian love” (1856, frequently opposed to eros as “carnal or sensual love”).
logos, words, loved and loving…
c.1386, “love of learning,” from Old French — philologie, from the Latin: philologia “love of learning, love of letters,” and from the Greek: philologia ” love of discussion, learning, and literature,” from philo– “loving” + logos “word, speech.”
Meaning “science of language” is first attested 1716; this confusing secondary sense has never been popular in the U.S., where linguistics (q.v.) is preferred.
“He that can love unloved again,
Hath better store of love than brain”
[Robert Ayton (1570-1638)]
please care, for me…
1137, “benevolence for the poor,” from Old French — charite, from Latin — caritas “costliness, esteem, affection” (in the Vulgate often used as translation of the Greek: agape “love” — especially Christian love of fellow man — perhaps to avoid any carnal suggestion of the Latin amor), from carus “dear, valued,” from the ProtoIndoEuropean *karo-, from base *ka– “to like, desire”. Vulgate also sometimes translated agape by L. dilectio, n. of action from diligere “to esteem highly, to love.” that love, that diligence in doing things well…philos…the doing well, to a potion, that does: well —
“love potion,” 1587, from M.Fr. philtre (1568), from the Latin philtrum, and from the Greek: philtron “love-charm,” literally — “to make oneself beloved,” from philein “to love” (from philos “loving”) + instrumental suffix –tron.
a little love…almond heart
from the It. word for almond(q.v.), which did not acquire the excrescent -l- of the Eng. word. Sometimes confused with amoretto (1596), from Italian; “little love,” a diminutive of amore “love.” This word was variously applied to love sonnets, cupids, etc. Amoroso (lit. “lover”), a type of sweetened sherry, is attested from c.1870.
lief | d e a r . . .
The Old English — leof “dear,” from, earlier, the Proto Germanic. *leubo– (to reference: Old Norse, ljutr, Old Frisian liaf, Old High German liob, German lieb, the Gothic liufs “dear, beloved”), from PIE base *leubh– “love” . A most useful word, now, alas, all but extinct. Want and love are overworked and misused to fill the hole left in the language when this word faded in 17c.
and I love her, that
goddess of love and beauty in Norse mythology, O.N. Freyja, related to O.E. frea “lord,” O.S. frua, M.Du. vrouwe “woman, wife,” Ger. Frau; see Frigg).
“Frigga is usually considered the goddess of married love; Freya, the goddess of love, the northern Venus. Actually, Frigga is of the Aesir family of Scandinavian myth;
Freya, of the Vanir family; the two lines of belief merged, and the two goddesses are sometimes fused, and sometimes confused.” [Shipley]
c.1300, noun use of adv. phrase par amour (c.1300) “passionately, with strong love or desire,” from Anglo-Fr. par amour, from amor “love.” Originally a term for Christ (by women) or the Virgin Mary (by men), it came to mean “darling, sweetheart” (c.1350) and “mistress, concubine, clandestine lover” (c.1386).
“female lover,” 1651, from It. innamorata, fem. of innamorato, pp. of innamorare “to fall in love,” from in “in” + amore “love.”
bite, that love
c.1220, from Anglo-Fr. and O.Fr. venim, from V.L. *venimen, from L. venenum “poison, drug, potion,” perhaps ultimately connected to venus “erotic love” (see Venus), in which case the original meaning might have been “love potion.” The meaning “bitter, virulent feeling or language” is first recorded c.1300.
V E N U S . . .
O.E., from L. Venus (pl. veneres), in ancient Roman mythology, the goddess of beauty and love, especially sensual love, fromvenus “love, sexual desire, loveliness, beauty, charm,” from PIE base *wen– “to strive after, wish, desire, be satisfied” (cf. Sanskrit vanas– “desire,” vanati “desires, loves, wins;” Avestan vanaiti “he wishes, is victorious;” Old English — wynn “joy,” wunian “to dwell,” wenian “to accustom, train, wean,” wyscan “to wish”).
FOR THAT LOVE…
Applied by the Romans to the Greek: Aphrodite, Egyptian Hathor, etc. Meaning “second planet from the sun” is attested from c.1290 (O.E. had morgensteorra and æfensteorra). The venus fly-trap(Dionæa muscipula) was discovered 1760 by Gov. Arthur Dobbs in North Carolina and description sent to Collinson in England. The Algonquian name for the plant, titipiwitshile, yielded regional Amer.Eng. tippity wichity. Love trap.
O.E., only in frigedæg “Friday.” In Gmc. religion, wife of Odin, goddess of heaven and married love, from O.N., lit. noun use of the fem. adj. meaning “beloved, loving, wife,” from P.Gmc. *frijaz “noble, dear, beloved” (from the root of O.E. freogan “to love;” ult. from the root of free (adj.)). Also cf. Freya.
c.1374, from O.Fr. solitude “loneliness,” from L. solitudinem (nom. solitudo) “loneliness,” from solus “alone” (see sole(adj.)). “Not in common use in English until the 17th c.” [OED]
“A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; … if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.” [Schopenhauer, “The World as Will and Idea,” 1818]
from my mind,
a vessel of
mean, beauty full
strong, in that
1825, from Ger., from minne “love,” esp. “sexual love,” from O.H.G. minna “loving memory,” originally “memory” (see mind(n.)) + singer (see singer). Medieval Ger. poets who imitated the troubadours. Ger. minne by 1500 was no longer considered decent, and it became a taboo word until revived 18c. in poetic language.
pamphlet | creating a booklet for me, on me, about me — and about us, in love…
“small, unbound treatise,” 1387, from Anglo-Latin panfletus, popular short form of “Pamphilus, seu de Amore” (“Pamphilus, or about Love”), a short L. love poem of 12c., popular and widely copied in Middle Ages; the name from Gk. pamphilos “loved by all,” from pan– “all” + philos “loving, dear.” Meaning “brief work dealing with questions of current interest” is late 16c. Pamphleteer (n.) is first recorded 1642.
as we believe, we love, we are drawn into our own world, our reality — mind, love, made.
O.E. belyfan, earlier geleafa (Mercian), gelefa (Northumbrian), gelyfan (W.Saxon) “believe,” from P.Gmc. *ga-laubjan “hold dear, love,” from PIE base *leubh– “to like, desire” (see love). Spelling beleeve is common till 17c.; then altered perhaps by influence of relieve. As a synonym for “Christian,” believer is attested from 1549. To believe on instead of in was more common in 16c. but now is a peculiarity of theology; believe of also sometimes was used in 17c.
1621 (implied in erotical), from Fr. érotique, from Gk. erotikos, from eros (gen. erotos) “sexual love” (see Eros, please, me, pleasure). Eroticize is from 1914. Gk. neut. pl. of erotikos “amatory,” from eros;
diligence — care for me, pay attention to me…
1340, from O.Fr. diligence “attention, care,” from L. diligentia “attentiveness, carefulness,” from diligentem (nom. diligens) “attentive, assiduous, careful,” originally prp. of diligere “value highly, love, choose,” from dis– “apart” + legere “choose, gather” (see lecture, that collection, that string of love). Sense evolved from “love” through “attentiveness” to “carefulness” to “steady effort.”
yes, for me: amour-propre
1775, from Fr., “sensitive self-love, self-esteem.”
friend | f r i e n d f a c e b o o k ( e d )
O.E. freond, prp. of freogan “to love, to favor,” from P.Gmc. *frijojanan “to love” (cf. O.N. frændi, O.Fris. friund, M.H.G.friunt, Ger. Freund, Goth. frijonds “friend,” all alike from prp. forms).
Related to O.E. freo “free.”
be in free, love in joy — BE L O V E D . . BELOVED.
O.E. freo “free, exempt from, not in bondage,” also “noble, joyful,” from P.Gmc. *frijaz (cf. M.H.G. vri, Ger. frei, Du. vrij, Goth. freis “free”), from PIE *prijos “dear, beloved” (cf. Skt. priyah “own, dear, beloved,” priyate “loves;” O.C.S. prijati “to help,” prijatelji “friend;” Welsh rhydd “free”). The adv. is from O.E. freon, freogan “to free, love.” The primary sense seems to have been “beloved, friend, to love;” which in some languages (notably Gmc. and Celtic) developed also a sense of “free,” perhaps from the terms “beloved” or “friend” being applied to the free members of one’s clan (as opposed to slaves, cf. L. liberi, meaning both “free” and “children”). Cf. Goth. frijon “to love;” O.E. freod “affection, friendship,” friga “love,” friðu”peace;” O.N. friðr, Ger. Friede “peace;” O.E. freo “wife;” O.N. Frigg “wife of Odin,” lit. “beloved” or “loving;” M.L.G. vrien “to take to wife, Du. vrijen, Ger. freien “to woo.” Sense of “given without cost” is 1585, from notion of “free of cost.”
1883, from Skt. Kama Sutra, ancient treatise on love and sexual performance, BEING : kama “love” + sutra (see sutra, THAT KNOT, THAT TIES ME TO YOU).
into the ring
c.1300, “story of a hero’s adventures,” also (c.1330), “vernacular language of France” (as opposed to Latin), from O.Fr. romanz “verse narrative,” originally an adverb, “in the vernacular language,” from V.L. *romanice scribere “to write in a Romance language” (one developed from Latin instead of Frankish), from L. Romanicus “of or in the Roman style,” from Romanus “Roman” (see Roman). The connecting notion is that medieval vernacular tales were usually about chivalric adventure. Literary sense extended by 1667 to “a love story.” Extended 1612 to other modern languages derived from Latin (Spanish, Italian, etc.). Meaning “adventurous quality” first recorded 1801; that of “love affair, idealistic quality” is from 1916. The verb meaning “court as a lover” is from 1942.
I VOW MY LOVE FOR YOU:
1546, “one consecrated by a vow,” from L. votum (see vow). Originally “a monk or nun,” general sense of “ardent devotee of some aim or pursuit” is from 1591 (in Shakespeare, originally in ref. to love).
kiss (verb to do that)
O.E. cyssan “to kiss,” from P.Gmc. *kussijanan (cf. O.S. kussian, O.N. kyssa, O.Fris. kessa, Ger. küssen), from *kuss-,probably ultimately imitative of the sound. The O.E. noun was coss, which became M.E. cuss, but this yielded to kiss, from the verb. For vowel evolution, see bury.
A kiss is a kiss, 3000 years…
There appears to be no common I.E. root word for “kiss,” though suggestions of a common ku– sound may be found in the Gmc. root and Gk. kynein “to kiss,” Hittite kuwash-anzi “they kiss,” Skt. cumbati “he kisses.”
“Kissing, as an expression of affection or love, is unknown among many races, and in the history of mankind seems to be a late substitute for the more primitive rubbing of noses, sniffing, and licking.” [Buck, p.1113]
Some languages make a distinction between the kiss of affection and that of erotic love (cf. L. saviari “erotic kiss,” vs. osculum, lit. “little mouth”). Fr. embrasser “kiss,” but lit. “embrace,” came about in 17c. when the older word baiser (from L. basiare) acquired an obscene connotation. Kiss of death (1948) is in ref. to Judas’ kiss in Gethsemane (Matt. xxvi.48-50). Slang kisser “mouth” is from 1860.
Gk. philemon, lit.
“loving, affectionate,” from
philein “to love”
fem. proper name, 1160, from O.Fr., from Gk. Hagne “pure, chaste,” from fem. of hagnos “holy.” St. Agnes, martyred 303 C.E., is patron saint of young girls, hence the folk connection of St. Agnes’ Eve (Jan. 20-21) with love divinations.
give me that gift:
“a nicety, subtlety,”
1377, from L., lit. “what you will,” from quod “what” + libet “it pleases”
1719, from Gk. aphrodisiakos “inducing sexual desire,” from aphrodisios, “pertaining to Aphrodite” (q.v.), Gk. goddess of love and beauty.
fem. proper name, lit. “worthy to be loved,” fem. of L. amandus, ger. of amare “to love” (see Amy).
Gk. philo-, comb. form of philos “dear” (adj.), “friend” (n.), from philein “to love,” of unknown origin. Productive of a great many compounds in ancient Gk.
my mother, my goddess:
Gk. goddess of love and beauty, her name is traditionally derived from Gk. aphros “foam,” from the story of her birth, but perhaps it is ult. from Phoenician Ashtaroth (Assyrian Ishtar). In 17c. Eng., pronounced to rhyme with night, right, etc.
1617 (implied in Sybaritical), “person devoted to pleasure,” lit. “inhabitant of Sybaris,” ancient Gk. town in southern Italy, whose inhabitants were noted for their love of luxury. From L. Sybarita, from Gk. Sybarites.
c.1540 (implied in disliking), hybrid which ousted native mislike as the opposite of like. 16c. also had the excellent dislove “hate, cease to love,” but it did not survive.
1532, from L.L. amicabilis, a word in Roman law, from L. amicus “friend,” related to amare “to love” (see Amy).
o — THE HEART, OPENED.
muse who presided over lyric poetry, from Gk. erastos, verbal adj. of eran “to love.” The verb is also the source of male proper names Erasmus (from Gk. erasmios “lovely, pleasant”) and Erastus.
madrigal — from the mother of making — song of love.
“short love poem,” also “part-song for three or more voices,” 1588, from It. (Venetian) madregal “simple, ingenuous,” from L.L. matricalis “invented, original,” lit. “of or from the womb,” from matrix (gen. matricis) “womb.”
erogenous | zone, known
formed 1889 from Gk. eros “sexual love” + Eng. –genous “producing.” A slightly earlier variant was erogenic (1887), from Fr. érogénique. Both, as OED laments, are improperly formed.
1398 (adj.), from pp. of v. belove (c.1205), from be– + loven “to love.” Noun meaning “one who is beloved” is from 1526.
1884, lit. “great-souled,” from Skt. mahatman, from maha “great” (see maharajah) + atman “breath, soul, principle of life.” In esoteric Buddhism, “a person of supernatural powers.” In common use, as a title, a mark of love and respect. Said to have been applied to Gandhi (1869-1948) in 1915 by poet Rabrindranath Tagore.
1432, “quality of being pleasant or agreeable,” from O.Fr. amenité, from L. amoenitatem (nom. amoenitas) “delightfulness, loveliness,” from amoenus “pleasant,” perhaps related to amare “to love.” Meaning “creature comforts of a town, house, etc.” (usually in pl.) first recorded 1908.
goddess of love and joy in ancient Egypt, from Gk. Hathor, from Egyptian Het-Hert, lit. “the house above,” or possibly Het-Heru “house of Horus.”
fem. proper name, from O.Fr. Amee, lit. “beloved,” from fem. pp. of amer “to love,” from L. amare, perhaps from PIE *am-a-, suffixed form of base *am-, a L. and Celt., root forming various nursery words for “mother, aunt,” etc. (cf. L. amita “aunt”).
1798, Hawaiian aloha, Maori aroha, an expression used in greeting or valediction, lit. “love, affection, pity.” Sometimes aloha ‘oe, from ‘oe “to you.”
“permission,” O.E. leafe, dat./acc. of leaf “permission,” from W.Gmc. *lauba, cognate with O.E. lief “dear,” the original idea being “approval resulting from pleasure.” See also love, believe. In military sense, it is attested from 1771.
c.1300, from O.Fr. venial, from L. venialis “pardonable,” from venia “forgiveness, indulgence, pardon,” related to venus “sexual love, desire” (see Venus).
“psychic drive or energy, usually associated with sexual instinct,” 1892, carried over untranslated in Eng. edition of Krafft-Ebing’s “Psychopathia Sexualis”; 1909 in A.A. Brill’s translation of Freud’s “Selected Papers on Hysteria” (Freud’s use of the term led to its popularity); from L. libido “desire, lust,” from libere “to be pleasing, to please,” ultimately cognate with O.E. lufu (see love).
1737, from Philander, popular name for a lover in stories, drama, and poetry, from Gk. adj. philandros “with love for people,” perhaps mistaken as meaning “a loving man,” from phil– “loving” + andr-, stem of aner “man.”
nuptial | to seek, the nubile, the nymph…
1490, from L. nuptialis “pertaining to marriage,” from nuptiæ “wedding,” from nupta, fem. pp. of nubere “take as a husband,” related to Gk. nymphe “bride,” from PIE *sneubho– “to marry, wed” (cf. O.C.S. snubiti “to love, woo,” Czech snoubiti “to seek in marriage,” Slovak zasnubit “to betroth”).
“love of cruelty,” 1888, from Fr. sadisme, from Count Donatien A.F. de Sade (1740-1815). Not a marquis, though usually now called one, he was notorious for the cruel sexual practices he described in his novels.
O.E. hore “prostitute, harlot,” from P.Gmc. *khoraz (fem. *khoron-) “one who desires” (cf. O.N. hora “adulteress,” Dan. hore, Swed. hora, Du. hoer, O.H.G. huora “whore;” in Goth. only in the masc. hors “adulterer, fornicator,” also as a verb, horinon “commit adultery”), from PIE *qar-, a base that has produced words in other languages for “lover” (cf. L. carus “dear;” O.Ir. cara “friend;” O.Pers. kama “desire;” Skt. Kama, name of the Hindu god of love, kamah “love, desire,” the first element in Kama Sutra). Whore itself is perhaps a Germanic. euphemism for a word that has not survived.
1742, from Fr. prédilection (16c.), n. of action from M.L. prædilectus, pp. of prediligere “prefer before others,” from L. præ-“before” + diligere “choose, love” (see diligent).
1784, “one who has a taste for (something),” from Fr. amateur “lover of,” from O.Fr., from L. amatorem (nom. amator) “lover,” from amatus, pp. of amare “to love” (see Amy). Meaning “dabbler” (as opposed to professional) is from 1786.
in those luscious indulgences…
“arranger of sexual liaisons, one who supplies another with the means of gratifying lust,” 1530, “procurer, pimp,” from M.E. Pandare (c.1374), used by Chaucer (“Troylus and Cryseyde”), who borrowed it from Boccaccio (who had it in It. form Pandaro in “Filostrato”) as name of the prince who procured the love of Cressida (his niece in Chaucer, his cousin in Boccaccio) for Troilus. The story and the name are of medieval invention.The verb meaning “to indulge, to minister to base passions” is first recorded 1602.
1303, from O.Fr. amorous (Mod.Fr. amoreux), from L. amorosum, from amor “love.”
“pursuit of sexual pleasure,” 1497, from M.L. veneria “sexual intercourse,” from L. venus (gen. veneris) “sexual love, sexual desire” (see Venus). In earlier use it may have been felt as a play on now obsolete homonym venery “practice or sport of hunting, the chase” (c.1320), from O.Fr. venerie, from L. venari “to hunt” (see venison).
O.E. upriht, from up “up” + riht “right.” Similar compounds are found in other Gmc. languages (cf. O.Fris. upriucht, M.Du. em>oprecht, O.H.G. ufreht, Ger. aufrecht, O.N. uprettr). The noun in the sense of “something standing erect” is from 1742.
“THREE-PENNY UPRIGHT. A retailer of love, who, for the sum mentioned, dispenses her favours standing against a wall.” [“Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue,” 1811]
1673, “love letter,” from Fr., lit. “sweet note,” from billet “document, note” (dim. of bille) + doux “sweet,” from L. dulcis.
c.1410, from M.Fr. veneration, from L. venerationem (nom. veneratio) “reverence,” from venerari “to worship, revere,” from venus (gen. veneris) “beauty, love, desire” (see Venus). Venerate (v.) is first recorded 1623, from L. veneratus, pp. ofvenerari.
Muse / mind full, the meditations on you — e r a t o . . .
c.1374, protectors of the arts, from L. Musa, from Gk. Mousa, lit. “muse, music, song,” from PIE root *mon-/*men-/*mn– “to think, remember” (see mind (n.)). The names of the nine Muses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (q.v.), and their specialties are traditionally: Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (love poetry, lyric art), Euterpe (music, especially flute), Melpomene (tragedy), Polymnia (hymns), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), Urania (astronomy).
lascivious | that desirous descent:
c.1425, from L.L. lasciviosus (used in a scolding sense by Isidore and other early Church writers), from L. lascivia “lewdness, playfulness,” from lascivus “lewd, playful,” from PIE *las–ko-, from *las– “to be eager, wanton, or unruly” (cf. Skt. –lasati “yearns,” lasati “plays, frolics,” Hittite ilaliya– “to desire, covet,” Gk. laste “harlot,” O.C.S. laska “flattery,” Slovak laska “love,” O.Ir. lainn “greedy,” Goth. lustus, O.E. lust “lust”).
galvanize : me
1802 (galvanism dates to 1797), from Fr. galvaniser, from galvanisme “electricity produced by chemical action,” formed from name of It. physicist Luigi Galvani (1737-98) who discovered it while running currents through the legs of dead frogs. Figurative sense of “excite, stimulate (as if by electricity)” first recorded 1853.
“He’ll swear that in her dancing she cuts all others out,
Though like a Gal that’s galvanized, she throws her legs about.”
[Thomas Hood, “Love has not Eyes,” 1845]
1659, “of the nature of a literary romance,” from Fr. romantique, from M.Fr. romant “a romance,” oblique case of O.Fr. romanz “verse narrative” (see romance). As a literary style, opposed to classical since before 1812. Meaning “characteristic of an ideal love affair” (such as usually formed the subject of literary romances) is from 1666. The noun meaning “an adherent of romantic virtues in literature” is from 1827. Romanticism first recorded 1803 as “a romantic idea;” generalized sense of “a tendency toward romantic ideas” is first recorded 1840.
glove and I fit you, like that, that hand in glove, love…
O.E. glof “covering for the hand,” also “palm of the hand,” from P.Gmc. *galofo (cf. O.N. glofi), probably from *ga– collective prefix + *lofi “hand” (cf. O.N. lofi, M.E. love, Goth. lofa “flat of the hand”). Ger. Handschuh, the usual word for “glove,” lit. “hand-shoe” (O.H.G. hantscuoh; also Dan., Swed. hantsche) is represented by O.E. Handscio, but this is only attested as a proper name. To fit like a glove is first recorded 1771.
Friday | love day
O.E. frigedæg “Frigga’s day,” (see Frigg), Gmc. goddess of married love, a W.Gmc. translation of L. dies Veneris, “day of (the planet) Venus,” which itself translated Gk. Aphrodites hemera. Cf. O.N. frijadagr, O.Fris. frigendei, M.Du. vridach, Du. vrijdag, Ger. Freitag “Friday,” and the L.-derived cognates O.Fr. vendresdi, Fr. vendredi, Sp. viernes. In the Gmc. pantheon, Freya (q.v.) corresponds more closely in character to Venus than Frigg does, and some early Icelandic writers used Freyjudagr for “Friday.”
philosophy . . .
1297, from O.Fr. filosofie (12c.), from L. philosophia, from Gk. philosophia “love of knowledge, wisdom,” from philo-“loving” + sophia “knowledge, wisdom,” from sophis “wise, learned.”
Nec quicquam aliud est philosophia, si interpretari velis, praeter studium sapientiae; sapientia autem est rerum divinarum et humanarum causarumque quibus eae res continentur scientia. [Cicero, “De Officiis”]
Meaning “system a person forms for conduct of life” is attested from 1771. Philosophize is attested from 1594.
I will carry a torch of love, for you.
c.1290, from O.Fr. torche, originally “twisted thing,” hence “torch formed of twisted tow dipped in wax,” probably from V.L. *torca, alteration of L.L. torqua, variant of classical L. torques “collar of twisted metal,” from torquere “to twist”. In Britain, also applied to the battery-driven version (in U.S., flashlight). Verb meaning “set fire to” is first attested 1931. Torch song is 1927 (“My Melancholy Baby,” performed by Tommy Lyman, is said to have been the first so-called), from carry a torch “suffer an unrequited love” (also 1927), an obscure notion from Broadway slang.
1436, from Anglo-Fr. cupidite, from M.Fr. cupidité, from L. cupiditas “passionate desire,” from cupidus “eager, passionate,” from cupere “to desire” (perhaps cognate with Skt. kupyati “bubbles up, becomes agitated,” O.Slav. kypeti “to boil,” Lith. kupeti “to boil over”). The Latin n. form cupido was personified as the Roman god of love, Cupido, identified with Gk. Eros;but in Eng. cupidity originally, and still especially, means “desire for wealth.”
wish (v.) that verb, that wish, that venusian gesture, drawing me out, drawing me far…in.
O.E. wyscan “to wish,” from P.Gmc. *wunskijanan (cf. O.N. æskja, Dan. ønske, Swed. önska, M.Du. wonscen, Du. wensen, O.H.G. wunsken, Ger. wunschen “to wish”), from PIE *wun-/*wen-/*won– “to strive after, wish, desire, be satisfied” (cf. Skt. vanati “he desires, loves, wins,” L. venus “love, sexual desire, loveliness,” venerari “to worship;” see Venus). The noun is attested from c.1300. Wishful first recorded 1523. Wishful thinking is recorded from 1932; wish fulfillment (1901) translates Ger. wunscherfüllung (Freud, “Die Traumdeutung,” 1900).
fall (v.) in love, fallen
O.E. feallan (feoll, pp. feallen), from P.Gmc. *fallanan (cf. O.N. falla, O.H.G. fallan), from PIE base *phol– “to fall” (cf. Armenian p’ul “downfall,” Lith. puola “to fall,” O.Prus. aupallai “finds,” lit. “falls upon”). Noun sense of “autumn” (now only in U.S.) is 1664, short for fall of the leaf (1545). That of “cascade, waterfall” is from 1579. Most of the figurative senses had developed in M.E. Meaning “to be reduced” (as temperature) is from 1658. To fall in love is attested from 1530; to fall asleep is 1393. Fall guy is from 1906. Fallout “radioactive particles” is from 1950. Fallen “morally ruined” is from 1628.
smite and please, to be smitten…
O.E. smitan “to hit, strike, beat” (strong verb, pt. smat, pp. smiten), from P.Gmc. *smitanan (cf. Swed. smita, Dan. smide “to smear, fling,” O.Fris. smita, M.L.G., M.Du. smiten “to cast, fling,” Du. smijten “to throw,” O.H.G. smizan “to rub, strike,” Ger. schmeißen “to cast, fling,” Goth. bismeitan “to spread, smear”), perhaps from PIE base *(s)mei– “to smear, to rub,” but original sense in Gmc. seems to be of throwing. Sense of “slay in combat” (c.1300) is originally Biblical, smite to death, first attested c.1200. Smitten in the sense of “inspired with love” is from 1663.
to lose, to be loosed, entangled — in love
O.E. losian “be lost, perish,” from los “destruction, loss,” from P.Gmc. *lausa (cf. O.N. los “the breaking up of an army”), from PIE base *leu- “to loosen, divide, cut apart, untie, separate” (cf. Skt. lunati “cuts, cuts off,” lavitram “sickle;” Gk. lyein “to loosen, untie, slacken,” lysus “a loosening;” L. luere “to loose, release, atone for”). Replaced related leosan (a class II strong verb whose pp. loren survives in forlorn and love-lorn), from P.Gmc. *leusanan (cf. O.H.G. virliosan, Ger. verlieren,O.Fris. urliasa, Goth. fraliusan “to lose”). Transitive sense of “to part with accidentally” is from c.1205. Meaning “to be defeated” (in a game, etc.) is from c.1533. To lose (one’s) mind “become insane” is attested from c.1500. To lose out “fail” is 1858, Amer.Eng.
move me in love
1275, from Anglo-Fr. movir (O.Fr. moveir), from L. movere “move, set in motion” (pp. motus, freq. motare), from PIE base *meue– (cf., Skt. kama-muta “moved by love” and probably mivati “pushes, moves;” Lith. mauti “push on;” Gk. ameusasthai “to surpass,” amyno “push away”). Meaning “to affect with emotion” is from c.1300; that of “to prompt or impel toward some action” is from c.1380.
jealous | zealous
c.1225, from O.Fr. gelos (12c., Fr. jaloux), from L.L. zelosus, from zelus “zeal,” from Gk. zelos, sometimes “jealousy,” but more often in a good sense (“emulation, rivalry, zeal”). See zeal. Among the ways to express this are Swed. svartsjuka, lit. “black-sick,” from phrase bara svarta strumpor “wear black stockings,” also “be jealous.” Dan. skinsyg “jealous,” lit. “skin-sick,” is from skind “hide, skin” said to be explained by Swed. dial. expression fa skinn “receive a refusal in courtship.”
“Most of the words for ‘envy’ … had from the outset a hostile force, based on ‘look at’ (with malice), ‘not love,’ etc. Conversely, most of those which became distinctive terms for ‘jealousy’ were originally used also in a good sense, ‘zeal, emulation.’ ” [Buck, pp.1138-9]
city in Pennsylvania, U.S., from Gk., taken by William Penn to mean lit. “brotherly love,” from philos “loving” + adelphos “brother” (see Adelphi). Also the name recalls that of the ancient city in Lydia, mentioned in the N.T., which was so called in honor of Attalos II Philadelphos, 2c B.C.E. king of Pergamon, who founded it.
1753, earlier tomate (1604), from Sp. tomate (1554) from Nahuatl tomatl “a tomato,” lit. “the swelling fruit,” from tomana “to swell.” Spelling probably influenced by potato (1565). A member of the nightshade family, which all contain poisonous alkaloids. Introduced in Europe from the New World, by 1550 they were regularly consumed in Italy but only grown as ornamental plants in England and not eaten there or in the U.S. at first. An encyclopedia of 1753 describes it as “a fruit eaten either stewed or raw by the Spaniards and Italians and by the Jew families of England.” Introduced in U.S. as part of a program by Sec. of State Thomas Jefferson (1789), but not commonly eaten until after c.1830.
Alternate name love apple and alleged aphrodisiac qualities have not been satisfactorily explained; perhaps from It. name pomodoro, taken as from adorare”to adore,” but probably actually from d’or “of gold” (in reference to color) or de Moro “of the Moors.” Slang meaning “an attractive girl” is recorded from 1929.
and you are my:
O.E. oþer “the second, one of the two, other,” from P.Gmc. *antharaz (cf. O.S. athar, O.N. annarr, Ger. ander, Goth. anþar “other”), from PIE *an-tero-, variant of *al-tero– “the other of two” (cf. Lith. antras, Skt. antarah “other, foreign,” L. alter), from base *al– “beyond” + adj. comp. suffix *-tero-. Sense of “second” was detached from this word in Eng. (which usessecond, from L.) and Ger. (zweiter, from zwei “two”) to avoid ambiguity. In Scand., however, the second floor is still the “other” floor (cf. Swed. andra, Dan. anden). Phrase other world “world of idealism or fantasy, afterlife, spirit-land” is c.1200; hence otherworldliness (c.1834). The other woman “a woman with whom a man begins a love affair while he is already committed” is from 1855. The other day originally (1154) was “the next day;” later (c.1300) “yesterday;” and now, loosely, “a day or two ago” (1421). Phrase other half in reference to either the poor or the rich, is recorded from 1607.
“La moitié du monde ne sçayt comment l’aultre vit.”
[Rabelais, “Pantagruel,” 1532]
of or in the manner of Anacreon, “convivial bard of Greece,” the celebrated Gk. lyrical poet, born at Teos in Ionia (560-478 B.C.E.). In ref. to his lyric form (1706) of a four-line stanza, rhymed alternately, each line with four beats (three trochees and a long syllable), also “convivial and amatory” (1801); and “an erotic poem celebrating love and wine” (c.1656). Francis Scott Key in 1814 set or wrote his poem “The Star-Spangled Banner” to the melody of “To Anacreon in Heav’n,” the drinking song of the popular London gentleman’s club called The Anacreontic Society, whose membership was dedicated to “wit, harmony, and the god of wine.”
To Anacreon in Heav’n, where he sat in full glee,
A few Sons of Harmony sent a petition;
That he their Inspirer and Patron wou’d be;
When this answer arrived from the Jolly Old Grecian;
“Voice, Fiddle, and Flute,
No longer be mute,
I’ll lend you my name and inspire you to boot,
And besides I’ll instruct you like me, to intwine,
The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’s Vine.”
The tune is late 18c. and may be the work of society member and court musician John Stafford Smith (1750-1836).
And love that is
growing, that is
fresh, that is recent
that scents of youth,
that renewal, that is…
O.E. grene, earlier groeni, related to O.E. growan “to grow,” from W.Gmc. *gronja– (cf. O.Fris. grene, O.N. grænn, Dan. grøn, Du. groen, Ger. grün), from PIE base *gro– “grow,” through sense of “color of living plants.” The color of jealousy at least since Shakespeare (1596); “Greensleeves,” ballad of an inconstant lady-love, is from 1580. Meaning of “a field, grassy place” was in O.E. Sense of “of tender age, youthful” is from 1412; hence “gullible” (1605). Greenhorn (containing the sense of “new, fresh, recent”) was first “young horned animal” (1455), then “recently enlisted soldier” (1650), then “any inexperienced person” (1682). Green light in figurative sense of “permission” is from 1937. Green and red as signals on railways first attested 1883, as nighttime substitutes for semaphore flags.
the truth of love, found, straight
as a tree, that
love that is…
O.E. triewe (W.Saxon), treowe (Mercian) “faithful, trustworthy,” from P.Gmc. *trewwjaz “having or characterized by good faith” (cf. O.Fris. triuwi, Du. getrouw, O.H.G. gatriuwu, Ger. treu, O.N. tryggr, Goth. triggws “faithful, trusty”), perhaps ultimately from PIE *dru– “tree,” on the notion of “steadfast as an oak.” Cf., from same root, Lith. drutas “firm,” Welsh drud, O.Ir. dron “strong,” Welsh derw “true,” O.Ir. derb “sure.” Sense of “consistent with fact” first recorded c.1205; that of “real, genuine, not counterfeit” is from 1398; that of “agreeing with a certain standard” (as true north) is from c.1550. Of artifacts, “accurately fitted or shaped” it is recorded from 1474; the verb in this sense is from 1841. Truism “self-evident truth” is from 1708, first attested in writings of Swift. True-love (adj.) is recorded from 1495; true-born first attested 1591. True-false as a type of test question is recorded from 1923.
lady | finding the heat in her
M.E. lafdi, lavede, ladi, from O.E. hlæfdige “mistress of a household, wife of a lord,” lit. “one who kneads bread,” from hlaf “bread” (see loaf) + –dige “maid,” related to dæge “maker of dough” (see dey (1); also compare lord). Not found outside Eng. except where borrowed from it. Sense of “woman of superior position in society” is c.1205; “woman whose manners and sensibilities befit her for high rank in society” is from 1861 (ladylike in this sense is from 1586).
“woman as an object of chivalrous love” is from c.1374. Used commonly as an address to any woman since 1890s. Applied in O.E. to the Holy Virgin, hence many extended usages in plant names, etc., from gen. sing. hlæfdigan, which in M.E. merged with the nom., so that lady- often represents (Our) Lady’s; e.g. ladybug (1699; cf. Ger. cognate Marienkäfer) which now is called ladybird beetle (1704) in Britain, through aversion to the word bug. Ladies’ man first recorded 1784.
passion | give me pain, give me love
c.1175, “sufferings of Christ on the Cross,” from O.Fr. passion, from L.L. passionem (nom. passio) “suffering, enduring,” from stem of L. pati “to suffer, endure,” from PIE base *pei– “to hurt” (cf. Skt. pijati “reviles, scorns,” Gk. pema “suffering, misery, woe,” O.E. feond “enemy, devil,” Goth. faian “to blame”). Sense extended to sufferings of martyrs, and suffering generally, by 1225; meaning “strong emotion, desire” is attested from c.1374, from L.L. use of passio to render Gk. pathos. Replaced O.E. þolung (used in glosses to render L. passio), lit. “suffering,” from þolian (v.) “to endure.” Sense of “sexual love” first attested 1588; that of “strong liking, enthusiasm, predilection” is from 1638. The passion-flower so called from 1633.
hello love, hello good bye: so long
parting salutation, 1860, of unknown origin, perhaps from a Ger. idiom (cf. Ger. parting salutation adieu so lange, the full sense of which probably is something like “farewell, whilst (we’re apart)”), perhaps from Heb. shalom (via Yiddish sholom). Some have noted a similarity to Scand. leave-taking phrases, cf. Norw. Adjø så lenge, Farvel så lenge, Mor’n så lenge, lit. “bye so long, farewell so long, morning so long;” and Swed. Hej så länge “good-bye for now,” with så länge “for now” attested since 1850 according to Swed. sources. Most etymology sources seem to lean toward the Ger. origin. Earlier guesses that it was a sailors’ corruption of a South Pacific form of Arabic salaam are not now regarded as convincing. “Dictionary of American Slang” also adds to the list of candidates Ir. slan “health,” said to be used as a toast and a salutation. The phrase seems to have turned up simultaneously in Amer.Eng., Britain, and perhaps Canada, originally among lower classes. First attested use is in title and text of the last poem in Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” in the 1860 edition.
An unknown sphere, more real than I dream’d, more direct, darts awakening rays about me—So long!
Remember my words—I may again return,
I love you—I depart from materials…
Here’s to love. And loving, in all things, the richness that might be found, in whatever way you come to it. Find it — to the center of your heart, in love’s first awakening.
Tim Girvin | Decatur Island
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