Starling Hunter © 2011 1
Taurus 2: An electrical storm
According to the
, the first use in English of the word
took place in the
1640’s and is attributed to Sir
Thomas Browne (1605-1682).
But it was anotherEnglishman, physicist WilliamGilbert (1540-1603), whocoined the term in a Modern Latin scientific treatise entitled
(1600). The wo
rd’s roots are both the Latin
and the Greek
, both of which mean “amber” or
“pale gold” (one part silver to
four parts gold).
was used in that treatise to
described all substances which “like amber, attract other substa
descends from the IE root
which means “toturn, whirl.”
Paronyms include the words
As a noun, the word
descends most immediately from the Old English
which in turn descends from thepre-Germanic
. Figurative or non-meteorological uses of theword may have entered the language in the late 14
century as a verb
taken to mean “to rage, be violent.” Its first use in a military sense, e.g.
a castle, came in 1645 and is attributed to the Oliver Cromwell(1599-1658).
Recall that the following six words are paronyms of
. Several of them
Watkins, C. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo European Roots, p. 87