Aquarius 17: A watchdog standing guard

T h e w o r d w a t ch d e s c e n d s f r o m t he I n d o - E u r o p e a n ( I E ) ro o t w eg -2 w h i c h m e a n s “ t o b e s t r o n g, l i v e l y. ” 1 I t s p a r o n y m s i n c l u d e wa ke n , wai t, wa t c h,

wi c c a , wit c h, b e wi tc h , bi vo u a c, wa f t, ve ge t a b le , vi go r , ra vi go t e ( a v i n e g a r
s a u c e se a s on e d w i t h m i n c e d on i o n , c a p e r s, a n d h e r b s, u s e d w i t h b oi l e d m e a t s o r fi s h ) , ve de t t e ( a m o u n t e d s e n t i n e l s t a t i on e d i n a d v a n ce o f a n o u t p o s t ) , vi gi l, ve lo c i t y , vi gi l a nt e , a n d re ve i l l e . W h i l e i t i s we l l - k n o w n t h a t t h e w o r d do g de s c e n d s f r o m t h e O l d E n g l i s h do c ga , “ a la t e , r a r e w o r d u s e d o f a p o w e r f u l b re e d o f c a n i n e , ” i t s o r i g i n “ r e m a i n s o n e o f t h e g r e a t m y s t e r i e s o f E n g li s h e t y m o l o g y . ” 2 A r o o t t h a t m e a n s “ d o g ” i s k won - . I t s ot h e r d e r i v a t i v e s i n c l u d e c a n a ry , c a ni n e ,

c h e n i l le , co rgi , c yni c , da sc h u n d , h o und , ke e s h on d , ken n el , q ui n s y, a n d P ro c yo n .
T h e w o r d s t a nd d e s c e n d s f r o m t he I E r o o t s t a - w h i c h m e a n s “ t o s t a n d. ” P a r o n y m s i n c l u d e a rre s t , c os t, de s i s t, de st i t ut e, di s t an t, e c st a s y,

e s t at e, e x ta n t, t he p re f i x h is t o -, i ns t an t , i n st i t ut e, o bs t ac l e , o u st , p o st , p ro s t ra te , re s t, re si s t, re s t o re , s t ab l e, s t a ge, s ta l l , s t an c e, s ta rl i n g, s ta t e, s t a ti o n, s ta t u s, s tay, s t ee d, s t ea d, st ern , s ti l l, s t o o l, st o re , st o w, st u d, s u b s i st , s u b st i t u te , a n d s ys te m . 3
T h e w o r d g u a rd d e s c e n d s f r o m t he I E r o o t w er -4 w h i c h m e a n s “ t o p e r c e i v e , w a t c h o ut f o r . ” 4 A m o n g i t s p a r o n y m s a r e wa ry, a wa re , wa re ( t o b e a w a re o f ) , l o rd , s t e wa rd , gu a rd , garde rro b e , re ga rd, re a rwa r d ( r e a r g u a r d o f a n a r m y ) , wa re ( a n a r t i c l e o f c o m m e r c e ) , wa rd , A rc t u ru s ,

1 2 3 4

Watkins, C. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo European Roots, pp. 95 http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=dog Watkins, C. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo European Roots, p. 84 Watkins, C. (2000), The American He ritage Dictionary of Indo European Roots, p. 99 -100 Starling Hunter © 2011 1

p yl o ru s , e p h o r, pan o ra m a , a n d re ve re ( t o r e g a r d w i t h a w e , d e f e r e n c e ,
a n d d e v o t i on ) . TH EMES : T he r e a r e a t l e a s t t w o B I RDS i n c l u d e d a m on g t he a b o ve —

c a n a ry , a p a r o n y m o f d og , a n d st a rl ing , a p a r o n y m o f st an di ng . B u t t h e
w o r d s t a rl i n g o n l y r e f e r s t o t he b i r d b y h o m o n y m y . T h e w o r d h a s s e v e r a l s e n se s a n d t h e on e t h a t i s t he p a r o n ym o f s t and i n g m e a n s “ a p r ot e c t i v e s t r u c t u r e o f p i l i n g s s u r r o u n d i n g a p i e r o f a b ri d g e . ” 5 O t h e r m e a n i n g s o f t h e w o r d i n c l u d e “ a l i t t l e st a r ” a n d a n i n ha b i t a n t o f a s t a r — j u s t li k e a n i n h a b i t a n t o f E a rt h i s a n e a rt h l i n g.
6

N o t a b l y, a m on g t he a b o ve p a r o n y m s a r e t w o s t a r s , b o t h o f w h i c h a r e s i g n i f i ca n t m e m b e r s o f c o n s t e l l a t i o n s n a m e d a f t e r A NIMAL S . T h e f i r st i s

P ro c yo n , t h e b r i g ht e s t s t a r i n t he c o n s t e l l a t i o n C a n i s M a j o r a n d t he
e i g h t h b ri g h t e st s t a r i n t he n i g h t t i me s k y . I t i s s o - n a me d b e c a u se i t r i s e s j u s t b e f o r e S i r i us , t h e do g - st a r . 7 T h e w o r d P ro c yo n a l s o r e f e r s t o “ a g e n u s o f n o ct u rn a l m a m m a ls , co m p r i s i n g t h r e e s p e c i e s c o m m o n l y k n o w n a s r a c c o on s. ” 8 T he s e c o n d s t a r i s A rc t u ru s , t he b ri g h t e s t st a r i n t h e c o n s t e l la t i on Bo o t e s a n d t h e f o u r t h b r i g h t e st s t a r i n t h e n i g h t t i me s k y . I n G r e e k m y t ho l o g y A rc t u ru s i s “ a s t a r c re a t e d Z e u s t o p r o t e c t t h e n e a r b y c on s t e l l a t i o n s o f A r c a s a n d Ca l l i s t o” , a l s o k n o w n a s U r s a M i n o r a n d U r s a M a j o r , r e s p e ct i v e l y . T h e w or d U r s a i s, o f c o u r se , L a t i n f o r “ b e a r ” a n d t he n a me A rc t u ru s d e r i v e s f r o m t h e A n c i e n t Gr e e k A r k t o u r o s w h i c h m e a n s “ G ua r d i a n o f t he B e a r . ” 9 S o t h a t g i v e s u s t wo b i r d s — c an a ry a n d s t a rl i n g — a n d t h re e a n i m a l s — d o g , r a c c o o n , a n d b e a r. W h i le t h e l a t t e r f o u r a r e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h CO NSTE LLAT IO NS , t h e C a na ry I s l a n d s a r e t h e ho m e t o t wo o f t h e w o r l d ’ s m o s t a d v a n ce d a s t r o n o m i c a l ob s e r v a t o r i e s. 10

5 http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/starling_2 6 http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mnh/nature/winbirds/colour/c36.htm 7 http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Procyon 8 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procyon_(raccoon) 9 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcturus 10 h t t p : / / w w w . s c h o o l s o b s e r v a t o r y . o r g . u k / a s t r o / t e l s / l a p a l m a Starling Hunter © 2011 2

A t h i r d t h e m e c o n ce r n s t ha t i d e a o f STAT IONS a n d P OSTS . T he w o r d

ve de t t e i s a p a r on y m o f w at ch t h a t m e a n s “ a m o u n t e d se n t i n e l s t a t i o n e d
i n a d v a n ce o f a n ou t p o s t . ” 11 T h e w o r d p o s t i s a p a r on y m o f s t an di n g t h a t m e a n s “ t he s t a t i on o r r o u n d s o f a p e r so n o n d u t y, a s a s ol d i e r , se n t r y, o r n u r s e . ” 12

11 h t t p : / / e d u c a t i o n . y a h o o . c o m / r e f e r e n c e / d i c t i o n a r y / e n t r y / v e d e t t e 12 h t t p : / / d i c t i o n a r y . r e f e r e n c e . c o m / b r o w s e / p o s t Starling Hunter © 2011 3