Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Daily Hump: Plagiary

Following on the heels of yesterday's post I decided that today we'd hump plagiary. The word is from the Latin plagiārius meaning the person who abducts the child or slave of another, a kidnapper. In civil law one can be tried for the crime of plagium, which is the crime of kidnapping, especially in reference to children. It's likely that plagium and plagiarism are also related to the Latin plaga meaning a net, snare or a spider's web. Plaga made it into English as the obscure plage, also meaning net or snare.

The OED suggests that plage as defined above may also be connected to the sense of plage meaning, either obscurely, a district or region in general or, in mordern astronomy, an unusually bright area of the sun's chromosphere. Plage in this sense is not related to the French plage, meaning beach, but rather a more archaic Latin definition of the word meaning "region". It's believed that this form shares an Indo-European root with the Old High German word flah (flat) which is potentially the source for our modern English noun flake, as in snowflake.

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:: posted by David, 9:20 AM


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