Thursday, May 7, 2009
Love. We all know what it means....or at least we should! But where does our English word love actually come from?? I thought that would be the topic of my little entry today.
English is a part of the language family called Indo-European. We don't actually have any written record of this language, but linguists can reconstruct what possible words were in this language. Indo-European breaks down into other categories such as the romance languages, which includes Spanish and French, and Germanic languages such as English and German. We know they are related because there are many words in across languages that are similar and love just happens to be one of those many words. Love in Russian is l'ubov, in Sanskrit lobha- and historical linguists have reconstructed the word in Indo-European to be leubh-
It dates from Old English lufu and is also the root of the word believe! From Indo-European to Latin the u became an i and so from Latin we get roots of love in our words like libido!
It's crazy how love works!! I find word histories or etymology fascinating and I hope you do too! The book I used was More Word Histories and Mysteries from the editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries.