Cancer 30: A Daughter of the American Revolution

The (IE) root keyword d hug et e r d a ught er w h i c h, can n ot be

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 surprisingly, means daughter. 1 The traced word to A me ri c an the Modern Latin

A m e ri c a n u s “ a ft e r A m e r i g o V e s p u c ci ( 1 4 5 4 - 1 5 1 2 ) w h o m a d e t w o t r i p s t o
t h e N e w W o r l d a s a n a v i g a t o r a n d c la i m e d t o h a ve d i s c ov e r e d i t . ” 2

Amerigo is more easily Latinized than Vespucci. The name Amerigo is Germanic, said to derive from Gothic Amalrich, literally "work-ruler." The Old English form of the name has come down as surnames Emmerich, Emery, etc. The Italian feminine form merged into Amelia.
I f A me ri c an i s c o mp o u n d l i t e r a l l y me a n i n g “ w o r k - r u l e r ” t h e n t h e t w o r o o t s a r e n o t d i f f i c u l t t o s u r mi s e . Th e l a t t e r h a l f, ru l er , d e s c e n d s f r o m t h e I E r o o t r eg -1 w h i c h m e a n s “ t o m o v e i n a st r a i g h t l i n e ” a n d w h o se d e r i v a t i v e s me a n s “ t o d i r e c t i n a s t r a i g h t l i n e , l e a d , ru l e . ” 3 A m o n g t h e d e r i v a t i v e s o f t h i s r o o t w e f i n d s e v e r a l w h i c h a r e s i mi l a r i n s o u n d a n d f o r m t o A m e ri c an ’s l a s t t w o s y l l a b le s . T he s e i n c l u d e re c t i t u de, re ct o,

re c t o r, re ct u m , re ct u s , di rec t , e re ct , re c t i f y, a n o re x i a, regu l a r, ra c k, ru l e, re c ko n , rei c h , re gul a t e a n d t h e n a me s E ri c a n d E ri c a .
A s n o t e d a b o ve , t he f i r s t t w o s y l l a b le s o f A m e ri c a n me a n “ w o r k ” a n d a r e G e r m a n i c i n o r i g i n . A l t h o u g h n o IE r o o t i s s p e c i f i e d , t h e e t y m o l o g y o f t h e n a me A m e l i a p r o v i d e s i n s t r u c t i v e c l u e s . A c c o r d i n g t o s a m e s o u r ce , t h a t n a me “ i s o f G e r m a n i c o r i g i n ” m e a n i n g l i t e r a l l y “ l a b o ri o u s ” a n d i s r e l a t e d t o t h e O l d N o r s e a m a “ t o t r o u b l e . ” 4 S e v e r a l le s s a u t h o r i t a t i v e s o u r c e s s u g g e s t t he n a me a l s o me a n s i n d u s t r i o u s , st r i v i n g , a n d w o r k . 5

1 2 3 4 5

Watkins, c. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo -European Roots, p. 20 http://www.etymonline.com/in dex.php?term=america Watkins, c. (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo -European Roots, p. 70 http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=amelia e.g. http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/amelia Starling Hunter © 2011 1

T h e w o r d r e volut i on d e s ce n d s f r o m t he r o o t w el - 3 w hi c h m e a n s “ t o t u r n , r o l l. ” i I t s p a r on y m s i n c l u d e e vo l v e , we l l , h e li c op t e r , h e l i x , i n vo l ve ,

re vo l ve , va l le y , vau l t , vo l u m e , wa l k , wa l l e t , a n d wa l t z.
TH EMES : O n e c l e a r t h e m e h e re c o n ce r n s t h e a n t i t h e s i s b e t w e e n t h i n g s t ha t a r e s t ra i g h t a n d t h i n g s t ha t a r e r o un d o r c u r v e d . R e c a ll t h a t t h e r o o t r eg -1 m e a n s “ t o m o v e i n a s t r a i g h t l i n e ” a n d t ha t m a n y o f i t s d e r i v a t i v e s m e a n “ t o d i r e c t i n a s t r a i g h t l i n e , le a d , r u l e . ” C o mp a r e t h i s t o t h e r o o t we l -3 w h i c h m e a n s “ t o t u r n , r o l l . ” T hi s d i st i n ct i o n e x t e n d s t o t h e p a r o n y m s o f Ame ri c an a n d Re vo lut i o n . I n t h e f o r m e r c a t e g o r y a r e w o r d s l i k e re c t it u de ( m o r a l u p r i g h t n e s s ; t h e q u a l i t y o f b e i n g st r a i g h t ) ,

e re c t ( b e i n g i n a v e r t i c a l, up r i g h t p o si t i o n ) , a n d ru l e r ( a s t r a i g h t -e d g e d
s t r i p , a s o f w o o d or m e t a l, f o r d r a w i n g s t r a i g h t li n e s a n d m e a s u r i n g l e n g t h s ) . A m on g t he p a r on y m s o f t he la t t e r a r e r e v o l v e ( t o o r b i t a c e n t r a l p o i n t ; t o t ur n o n a n a x i s) , wa lt z ( a b a l l r o o m d a n c e ) , a n d h e l i x ( a s p i r a l f o r m o r s t r uc t u r e ) . A r e l a t e d d i c h ot o my c o n c e r n s d i me n si o n a l i t y. R e c a l l t ha t r e g -1 a n d i t s d e r i v a t i v e s i m p l y st r a i g h t l i n e s a n d mo v e m e n t a l o n g a s i n g l e d i m e n s i o n . T h e d e r i v a t i ve s o f w el - 3 s u g g e s t m o ve m e n t i n t w o o r t hr e e d i m e n s i o n s . F o r e x a mp l e , t h e b la d e s o f a he l i c op ter r o t a t e o r s p i n a b o u t a n a x i s ;

vo l u m e i s “ T h e a mo u n t o f sp a c e o c c up i e d b y a t h r e e - d i m e n s i on a l ob j e c t
o r r e g i o n o f sp a c e ” ; a n d re vo l ve m e a n s “ t o o r b i t a ce n t r a l p o i n t ” a n d t o t u r n a b o ut a n a x i s. C l e a r l y , t he f o r m e r g r o u p i s u n i - d i me n s i on a l w h i le t h e l a t t e r g r o u p i s t w o - o r t h r e e - d i me n s i o n a l i n c h a r a ct e r . T h i s d i s t i n ct i on i s ce n t r a l t o t he d i c h o t o m y o f T I M E a n d S P AC E .

i W ATKINS , C. (2000), T HE A MERICAN H ERITAGE D ICTIONARY OF INDO E UROPEAN R OOTS , P . 98

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