- each[each 词源字典]
- each: [OE] Each comes from Old English ǣlc. This, brief as it is, was in fact originally a compound adjective; it was descended from West Germanic *aiwō galīkaz, literally ‘ever alike’ (*aiwō is the source of English aye ‘ever’ , *galīkaz the source of English alike). ǣlc also formed the second element of an Old English expression, literally ‘ever each’, which has become modern English every.
=> alike, aye[each etymology, each origin, 英语词源]
- eager:  As its close etymological connection with vinegar and acid might suggest, the underlying sense of eager is ‘sharp’. It comes ultimately from the Indo-European base *ak- ‘sharp, pointed’, amongst whose other English descendants are acne, edge, and oxygen. It was the source of Latin ācer ‘keen, sharp’, which was used in relation both to sight, hearing, etc, and to temperamental qualities – hence ‘ardent, zealous’.
The Latin adjective (from which English also gets acid and acrid) became *acrum in post-classical times, and from this came Old French aigre (source of the -egar of vinegar), which passed into English via Anglo- Norman egre. English retained the literal senses ‘pungent, sour’ and ‘sharp-edged’ until the early 19th century.
=> acid, acne, acrid, acute, edge, oxygen
- eagle:  Eagle comes via Old French aigle from Latin aquila (source also of English aquiline ). This was presumably a derivative of the adjective aquilus ‘dark-coloured’, suggesting that the eagle’s name originally signified simply ‘dark-coloured bird’ (Greek had the term melanáetos ‘black eagle’). Before the French word was introduced, the English term for ‘eagle’ was erne, which still survives dialectally.
- ear: Ear for hearing and ear of corn seem in some way to belong together, but in fact they are two quite distinct words etymologically. Ear for hearing [OE] is an ancient term that goes right back to the Indo-European roots of the language. Its ancestor is the base *aus-, whose underlying signification was perhaps ‘perception’ (a variant, *au-, produced Greek aisthánomai ‘perceive’).
This lies behind the term for ‘ear’ in the majority of European languages: French oreille, for example, Italian orecchio, Spanish oreja, Romanian ureche, Irish ó, Russian and Polish ucho, and modern Greek autí. Its Germanic descendant, *auzon, produced German ohr, Dutch oor, Gothic ausō, Swedish öra, and English ear.
The etymological sense of ear of corn [OE] is ‘spike’ of corn. The word comes from a prehistoric Germanic *akhuz, which goes back ultimately to the Indo-European base *ak- ‘be pointed or sharp’ (ultimate source of English acid, acne, acute, eager, edge, and oxygen).
=> acid, acne, acute, eager, edge, oxygen
- early: [OE] Broken down into its equivalent parts in modern English, early means ‘before-ly’. It was a compound formed from Old English ǣr (ancestor of modern English ere ‘before’) and the adverb ending -ly, modelled probably on the parallel Old Norse form árligr. Ere itself was actually originally a comparative form, which before it was used for ‘before’ meant ‘earlier’.
Old English ǣr came from prehistoric Germanic *airiz, the comparative form of *air ‘early’. Related forms in other Indo-European languages, such as Greek eri ‘in the morning’ and Avestan (the sacred form of Old Iranian) ayarə ‘day’, suggest that its underlying meaning is ‘early in the morning’.
- earn: [OE] The underlying sense of earn is ‘gain as a result of one’s labour’. It comes from a prehistoric West Germanic verb *aznōjan, which was based on the noun *aznu ‘work, labour’. This seems often to have been used specifically for ‘work in the fields’, for several other related forms in the Germanic languages, such as German ernte and Gothic asans, denote ‘harvest’, which in some cases has been metaphorically extended to apply to ‘autumn’.
- earnest: [OE] Earnest was originally a much more red-blooded word than it is today. It comes ultimately from a Germanic base *ern- which denoted ‘vigour’ or ‘briskness’. To this was added the noun suffix – ost (earnest was originally a noun), giving Old English eornost, which appears at first to have meant ‘intense passion’, and particularly ‘zeal in battle’. However, by the end of the Old English period there is already evidence of a semantic toning down from ‘intensity of feeling’ to ‘seriousness of feeling’ (as opposed to ‘frivolity’), a process which has culminated in modern English connotations of ‘over-seriousness’.
- earth: [OE] Earth comes ultimately from an Indo- European base *er-. This produced the prehistoric Germanic noun *erthō, ancestor of German erde, Dutch aarde (whence, via early Afrikaans, English aardvark , literally ‘earth-pig’), Swedish and Danish jord, and English earth. Related forms outside Germanic include Greek eraze ‘on the ground’ and Welsh erw ‘field’. The word’s basic range of modern senses, ‘ground’, ‘world’, and ‘soil’, all date back to the Old English period.
- earwig: [OE] A colloquial Old English term for ‘insect’ was wicga (which would have been pronounced something like ‘widger’). It probably came from the same prehistoric Germanic base (*wig-) as produced English wiggle , and so is roughly equivalent in spirit to modern English creepy-crawly. There used to be a belief (perhaps still is) that earwigs creep into people’s ears and penetrate inside their heads, and so the Anglo-Saxons called them ēarwicga, literally ‘ear-insect’. The same notion lies behind French perceoreille, literally ‘pierceear’, and German ohrwurm, literally ‘earworm’, both of which stand for ‘earwig’.
- easel:  Easel was borrowed from Dutch ezel, which means literally ‘donkey’ (it is related to English ass). The notion of loading a painting on to a stand, much as a burden is loaded on to a donkey, is echoed in the use of clotheshorse for a stand for hanging clothes on to dry or air.
- east: [OE] Etymologically, east is the point of the compass at which the sun rises (and hence is a parallel formation to orient, which comes from a Latin word originally meaning ‘rising’). It goes back to an Indo-European base *aus-, source of a range of terms meaning not only ‘east’ but also ‘dawn’; Latin aurora, for instance, and Greek aúōs, had both senses.
Its Germanic descendant, *austo-, produced German ost, Dutch oosten, Swedish öster, and English east (which was subsequently borrowed by French as est). It was also the source of *Austron, the name of a goddess of the prehistoric Germanic peoples, originally the dawn-goddess, whose festival occurred in spring. In Old English her name was Ēastre, which is generally taken to be the ultimate source of English Easter (German Ostern ‘Easter’ has a parallel origin).
- easy:  Easy comes via Anglo-Norman aise from Old French aisie, the past participle of aisier ‘put at ease’, which in turn was a derivative of aise. This noun (source of English ease ) originally meant ‘convenience’ rather than ‘comfort’. It came from *adjaces, the Vulgar Latin descendant of Latin adjacēns ‘nearby’ (source of English adjacent and related to adjective), which was the present participle of the verb adjacēre ‘lie near’.
The progression of senses is thus ‘nearby’, ‘handy’, ‘convenient’, and eventually ‘comfortable’. The subsequent development to ‘not difficult’, which took place in the 14th century, is purely English, although Breton took the parallel step of borrowing French aise, as aes, to mean ‘not difficult’.
=> adjacent, adjective
- eat: [OE] Eat is a very ancient and basic verb. It goes back to Indo-European *ed- ‘eat’ (distant ancestor of English tooth), which produced the basic word for ‘eat’ in most European languages, apart from French, Italian, Romanian, and the Celtic languages: Greek édein, for example, Latin edere (source of English comestible , from Latin comedere ‘eat up’, and of obese ), and Russian jest’. Its Germanic descendant was *etan (ultimate source of English etch), which produced German essen, Dutch eten, Swedish öta, and English eat (and also lies behind English fret).
=> comestible, etch, fret, obese, tooth
- eaves: [OE] The etymological meaning of eaves appears to be ‘going over the edge, projecting’. It comes from a prehistoric Germanic *obaswa, which was probably formed on *ob-, the base from which English over ultimately derives. The eavesdrip or eavesdrop is, or was, the area of ground on which rainwater thrown off by the eaves falls, so that somebody who stood within this area, with his or her ear to the door or window trying to listen in on private conversations, became known as an eavesdropper .
- ebb: [OE] Water that is ebbing is literally going ‘off’ or ‘away’. The word comes from West Germanic *abjon, a noun formed from *ab, ancestor of modern English of, off, which denoted removal or departure.
=> of, off
- ebony:  Ebony is ultimately of Semitic origin. The Greeks took it from some Middle Eastern source, perhaps Egyptian hbnj, and turned it into ébenos. This made its way via Latin ebenus, later ebanus, and Old French eban into English. At first English simply used the French form (which as ebon survived into modern times as an archaism), but from the 16th century forms ending in -y began to supersede it.
- ecclesiastical:  In classical Greek, an ekklēsíā was an ‘assembly’ (the word was derived from ekkalein, a compound verb formed from the prefix ek- ‘out’ and kallein ‘call’). With the introduction of Christianity, it was adopted as the term for ‘church’, and an ekklēsiastés, originally ‘someone who addressed an assembly’, became a ‘preacher’ or ‘priest’. The derived adjective, ekklēsiastikos, passed into English via either French or Latin.
- echelon: see scale
- echo:  Echo comes via Old French or Latin from Greek ēkhó, a word related to ēkhé ‘sound’. It may have originated as a personification of the concept ‘sound’, which developed eventually into the mythological mountain nymph Echo, who faded away for love of Narcissus until nothing but her voice was left. (The Greek verb derived from ēkhé, ēkhein, is the ultimate source of English catechism.)
- éclat: see slat