Monday, February 12, 2007

The Daily Hump: Scythe

You may notice the humps this week are shorter; I've got a lot of work to do. Now that that's out of the way today we're going to (very gingerly) hump the scythe: whether reaping barley or souls it's the go-to tool. First things first, however; that initial sc- that we've come to know and love didn't show up until around the 15th c., likely influenced by the Latin verb scindere (to cut: think scissors). Before this time the we had the Middle English sithe and before that the Old English sigði. We can trace the word further back to the Proto-Germanic *segithoz and the Proto-Indo-European base *sek-, meaning "cut".

The base *sek- also happens to be the root of our modern words section, a "cutting off or division," and scythe's close relative, sickle.

scythe [Online Etymology Dictionary]
scythe [OED]
sickle [Online Etymology Dictionary]

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:: posted by David, 8:32 AM


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