Entertainment / Literature / Cognate: Cognates are words that (1) match each other to some degree in sound and meaning, (2) come from a common root in an older language, but (3) did not actually serve as a root for each other. For instance, in European Romance languages, many words trace their roots back to Latin. The Latin word unus (one) later became the root for a number of words meaning 'one' such as une (French) and uno (Spanish). Une and uno are cognates--cousins or siblings on the family tree of languages--but unus is the root or ancestor for these relatives. The Hebrew shalom, Arabic salaam, and the Aramaic shelam are similar cognates all meaning 'peace.' The amateur philologist should be cautious of false cognates and folk etymology, however. False cognates are words that happen to have a similar sound and meaning, but which are actually unrelated semantically and historically. Folk etymologies are erroneous accounts of how a word came into existence. Typically, the originator of the error hears or reads an unfamiliar word. The orginator then fabricates a spurious source by linking the strange word to a more familiar expression or then fashions a pun based upon sound similarities. Cognates play an important part in reconstructing dead languages such as proto-Indo-European.


Entertainment / Literature / Norman: An inhabitant of Normandy, a region along the northern coast of France. The word Norman comes from a cognate for 'northmen,' for the Norman aristocracy of the region originally descended from Danish ( MORE


Entertainment / Literature / Prys: The French noun prys, meaning 'worthiness,' is a cognate with the English word 'price.' Prys was rich in connotations, appearing frequently in French chansons de geste and medieval romances. It embodi MORE


Health / Dentistry / Root: The part of the tooth below the crown, normally encased in the jawbone. It is made up of dentin, includes the root canal, and is covered by cementum. MORE