Cancer 12: A Chinese woman nursing a baby with a message

T h e e a r l i e s t E u r o p e a n u sa g e o f t he wo r d Chi ne se i s i n I t a l i a n , b y M a r c o P o l o. 1 I t i s b e l i e v e d t h a t t h i s co m e s f r o m t h e Qi n dynasty which ruled much of what is now m o d e r n - d a y C h i n a i n t he 3 r d ce n t u r y B C . T h e L a t i n i z e d f o r m o f t h e w o r d i s S ina a n d h e n c e t h e w o r d s Ch i n a , C h i ne s e , si n ol o gi s t , e t c . O n e o f t h e n a m e s o f C h i na i s “ t he M i d d l e K i n g d o m ” , t h u s on e w a y o f r e a d i n g t he a b o v e s y m b o l s i s a s “ A w o m a n f r o m t h e M i d d l e K i n g d o m n u r s i n g a b a b y w i t h a m e s sa g e . ” S h o ul d w e c h o o s e t o r e a d i t t hi s w a y, t h e n w e m us t t a k e n o t e o f w o r d h i st or y o f t w o a d d i t i o n a l w o r d s — m i d d l e and kingdom. T h e f o r m e r d e s c e n d s f r o m t h e I n d o - E u r o p e a n ( IE ) r o ot m edh yo - w h i l e t h e w o r d k i ngdo m d e s c e n d s f r o m t he I E r o o t g e ne - w h i ch m e a n s “ t o g i v e b i r t h, b e g e t . ” P a r on y m s o f mi d dl e i n cl u d e i m m e di at e , m id , m i ddl e ,

m i ds t , a m i d , m e an , m e da l , me di a n , medi u m , t h e p r e fi x me s o - , a n d t he
n a m e M i la n .
2

P a r o n y m s o f ‘ k i n g d o m ’ i n c l u d e ge n de r , ge ne , gen t ee l ,

ge n e ri c , ge ne s is , ge n e ra l , gen e ro u s , ge n o t ype , ge ne a l o gy , ge n o ci de , ge n u i ne , gen u s, gen i u s , m a l i gn , n a ti ve , n a ti o n , n at a l, nat u re , p ro ge ni t o r ,
a n d p ro ge n y a m o n g m a n y o t h e r s. 3 T h e n o u n w o ma n d e s c e n d s f r o m t h e ro o t g h w i b h - w hi c h m e a n s b o t h “ s h a m e ” a n d “ p u d e n d a ” , t h e e x t e r n a l g e n i t a l i a o f a w o ma n . 4 T w o o t h e r w o r d s a r e d e r i v e d f r o m t h i s r o o t —w i fe a n d hu s s y ( a f e ma l e a d u l t e r e r ) . T h e w o r d n u r s e 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 r o o t ( s ) n a u - w h i c h m e a n s “ t o s w i m , f l o w , l e t f l o w, w h e n ce s u c k l e . ” 5 O t h e r d e r i v a t i v e s

1 2 3 4 5

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=china Watkins, C. (2000), The American Heritage Diction ary Watkins, C. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary Watkins, c. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary Watkins, c. (2000), The American Heritage Dictiona ry Starling Hunter © 2011

of of of of

Indo European Indo European Indo -European Indo-European 1

Roots, Roots, Roots, Roots,

p. p. p. p.

52 26 32 81

i n c l u d e n o u r i s h, n u t r ie n t , n u t r i t io n , a n d n a ia d ( a n y m p h o f l a k e s , s p r i n g s , rivers and fountains). T h e w o r d b a b y a p p e a r s t o h a v e e n t e r e d t h e E n g l i s h la n g u a g e i n t he l a t e 1 4 t h c e n t u r y a s a d i m i n u t i v e o f t h e M i d d l e E n g li s h b a b a n a n d possibly imitative of baby talk.6 T h e w o r d m e s s a g e d e s c e n d s f r o m t he r o o t m i t t e r e - w h i c h m e a n s “ t o l e t g o , s e n d o f f, t h ro w . ” 7 O t h e r d e r i v a t i v e s i n c l u d e m a s s, m e s s , m i s s il e , m i s s i o n , m i s s i ve , Ch r i s t m a s , co m m it , co m p r o m i se , d i s m i s s, e m it , in t e r m i t , o m i t , p e r mi t , p r o m is e , r e m it , su b m it , su r m i se , a n d t r a n s mi t . T H E M E S : A s s h o w n i n t he t a b l e b e l o w, t h e r e a re s e ve r a l t h e m e s t ha t e x t e n d a c r os s t he k e y w o r d s a n d t h e i r p a r o n y m s.
Theme FOOD FOOD WOMEN WOMEN CHILD-BIRTH CHILD-BIRTH CHILD-BIRTH HALF-MEASURES HALF-MEASURES HALF-TIME HALF-TIME RELIGION RELIGION POPULACE POPULACE BENEFICENCE BENEFICENCE Keyword message nursing woman nursing kingdom baby message message middle message middle kingdom message message kingdom message kingdom Paronyms [Roots] mess nutrient, nutrition, nourishment nurse, nymph natal, progeny; [gene- = to give birth, beget] baby Christmas (celebration of the birth of Jesus) compromise middle intermission middle Genesis Christmas, mass The masses nation Christmas (Santa Claus’ generosity)8 generosity

6 http://www.etymonline.com/index. php?term=babe 7 Watkins, c. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo -European Roots, p. 56 8 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas#Legendary_gift -bringing_figures Starling Hunter © 2011 2

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