Capricorn 26: A water sprite

T h e w o r d w a t e r 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 ) r o o t w e d- w h i c h me a n s “ w a t e r , w e t . ” 1 I t s p a r o n y m s i n c l u d e wa te r , wi nt e r , t h e p r e f i x h ydro - , dro ps y , i n un da te , re do un d ,

re du n da n t , s u rro u n d , ab o u n d , a b un da n t , n u t ri a , h ydra , wh iske y , a n d vo dka .
T h e w o r d s p ri t e r e f e r s t o “ a s ma l l i ma g i n a r y creature with magic powers in traditional s t o r i e s, e s p e c i a l l y o n e t ha t l i ve s i n o r n e a r w a t e r . ” 2 T h e w o r d e n t e r e d t he E n g l i s h l a n g u a g e i n t he e a rl y 1 4 t h c e n t u r y f r o m t h e O l d F r e n c h es p ri t w h i c h m e a n s “ sp i r i t ” a n d w h i c h d e s c e n d s f r om t h e L a t i n sp i rit us w h i c h a l s o m e a n s “ sp i r i t . ” 3 T h u s , o n e p a r o n y m o f t h i s k e y w o r d i s t he E n g l i s h w o r d sp i ri t . TH EMES : T he k e y t h e m e h e r e i s S PI RIT . O n e d e f i n i t i on of t h e p l u ra l f o r m o f t h a t w o r d i s “ a n a l c o h o li c b e ve r a g e , e sp e c i a l l y d i s t i l l e d li q u o r . ” 4 R e c a l l t ha t t w o p a ro n y m s w at er d e s c ri b e s u c h b e ve r a g e s — wh i s ke y a n d

vo dka . A l s o , i t i s wo r t h n o t i n g t h a t t he r e i s
a v e r y p op u l a r , co lo r l e s s , n o n -a l c o h o li c b e v e r a g e b y t h e n a m e o f S p ri t e .

1 2 3 4

Watkins, C. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo European Roots, p. 95 http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/sprite#sprite_5 http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=sprite http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/spirit Starling Hunter © 2011 1

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