I have been fascinated with etymology since I was a child and in looking for something else, I came across this page.  I think you will find it most interesting!-A.M.

Origin of Some Words

searchingSatyagraha: It is a Sanskrit term popularized by Gandhi during his non-violent non-co-operation movements . It means any effort to discover, discern, obtain or apply “Satya’ or ‘Truth’ to correct injustice.

Laissez-faire (lɛse fɛr) or laisser-faire is short for “laissez faire, laissez aller, laissez passer,” a French phrase meaning “let do, let go, let pass.”

Elite: From the Latin elire, meaning “to choose,” from which we also get the modern Spanish word meaning the same, elegir.

Slave: After large parts of Slavonia (the current Yugoslavian Federation province of Serbia, as well as portions of surrounding countries) were subjugated by the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages, a Slav became synonymous with someone who lived in servitude. Eventually Slav became slave.

ZERO & Cipher: The term has come down to us in English as cipher, which means “empty” and refers to the zero column in the abacus or counting frame (see “abacus”)(The term has also come down to us as “decipher,” which means “to determine the meaning of anything obscure”).

Woman: From the Old English “Wyfmon,” meaning, “wife.” See Queen

Husband:  Comes from the Old German words hus and bunda, which mean “house” and “owner,” respectively. The word originally had nothing to do with marital status, except for the fact that home ownership made husbands extremely desirable marriage partners.

Salary; Salt: In the early days of Rome its soldiers were given a handful of salt each day. The salt ration was subsequently replaced by a sum of money allowing each man to buy his own, and relieving the commisariat of the trouble of transporting it. The money received was referred to as their “salt money” (salarium in Latin).

Eventually, the term would make its way into medieval France, where a soldier’s payment was known as his solde (which is still in use today as the term for a soldier’s or sailor’s pay), and it was in paid for with a special coin called a sol. By extension, the word also came to refer not only to a soldier’s wage, but also to the soldier himself, evidenced by the medieval French term soldat, which itself came from the Old French soudier. For its part, the English word “soldier” comes from the Middle English souder, which also derived from soudier

[Footnote: Contrary to popular belief, salt–necessary as it was and unlike other spices–was never very expensive. It only became expensive towards the end of the twelfth century A.D., when it was used as a means of taxation and people often went without it, as a result–a fact not unconnected with the famines and deficiencies that afflicted so many generations of Europeans at the time].

Right: From the pre-Christian, Germanic term “riht”, which was the sense of justice or balance that tribal elders attempted to achieve when determining the size of the “Bot.” This is not to be confused with peace or “Friede,” which could be achieved with differing amounts of “Bot” and was merely the cessation of fighting. “Riht” was that perfect amount of “Bot” that restored order within the universe and ensured the most long-lasting peace. (See the etymology of “Bot” at the end of the entry of freedom.)

Freedom: This comes from German (literal, modern-day translation, “Freiheit”), but is actually closer in derivation to the German word “Friede”, which means “peace” and is a word of pre-Christian, Germanic origin (originally “Frith”). The archaic term was used to signify the period following the termination of a bloodfeud between two Germanic clans when the softer, feminine qualities of the god “Freda” or “Frita” held sway. To achieve such a peace, some consideration had to given up on the part of the clan whose member had committed the most recent wrong against another clan, such as a certain quantity of meat or animal hides. What was given up was called “Bot” (delivered good) or “Botschaft” (literally delivered shank (of meat), but currently is the modern German word for “message”)

Robot: Robot comes from the Czech word “robot,” which means “worker.” In 1923, Karl Capek, a well-known, Czech, science-fiction writer at the time, wrote a futuristic thriller about a nightmarish scenario in which the machines have taken over (a la, the “Terminator”) and implanted circuitry in humans to make them into mindless zombies willing to serve them as workers or “robots.”

Idea, Ideal, Idol: All from the Greek “idein,” for “to see”; cognates with the Sanskrit “vid” (to know) and Latin “videre” (to see) and the English “wise.” The W/V sound from the Indo-European root was lost in ancient Greek.

Lucifer: Lucifer is Latin for “Light Bringer”. The Hebrew for the same, Haleal, means “adversary.” The passage in Isaiah (the only place in the Old Testament that mentions Lucifer) uses the Hebrew term for the Morning Star (ie, the planet Venus). The passage refers to the King of Babylon sarcastically, saying that he considered himself to be like God, just as the Morning Star is a bright light in the sky, but pales in comparison to the sun.

Light: Related to Licht (German), and Latin “Luna,” meaning, “moon.” “Moonlight” is therefore something like a tautology.

Pagan: A member of a nation or community which does not accept the “true” religion, or does not worship the “true” God; thus, in short, a heathen. In earlier use it meant essentially a non-Christian, and thus included Muslims and even Jews. The word “pagan” comes from the Latin “paganus” which meant villager or rustic; civilian or non-militant and was the direct opposite of “miles”: a soldier or one of the army

Source: http://www.westegg.com/etymology/

Science: The word “science” came from the Latin word for knowledge: scientia. From the 1200’s to until the 1840’s science was known as natural philosophy.



Sin & Evil: In the Aramaic Language and culture that Jesus taught in, the terms for “sin” and “evil” were archery terms. When the archer shot at the target and missed the scorekeeper yelled the Aramaic word for sin. It meant that you were off the mark, take another shot. The concept of sin was to be positive mental feedback. Sin is when you are operating from inaccurate information and thus a perceptual mis-take. When you become conscious and aware if the results of your inaccuracy you have the option to reconsider what you have learned and do as they do in Hollywood, “do another take.” By the way, where the arrow fell when it missed the target was referred to as evil. 
Heresy: Heresy is the holding of a belief that is in fundamental disagreement with the established teachings or doctrines of an organized religion. The word “heresy” comes from the Greek hairesis, which means either a choice of beliefs or a faction of dissident believers. The Inquisition was a permanent institution in the Catholic Church charged with the eradication of heresies.
Idea, Ideal, Idol: All from the Greek “idein,” for “to see”; cognates with the Sanskrit “vid” (to know) and Latin “videre” (to see) and the English “wise.” The W/V sound from the Indo-European root was lost in ancient Greek. 
Blessing: The word “blessing” is related in English to the word “blood.” Blessing is like the spiritual bloodstream that flows through the universe. When we bless something we are returning what we have received to its source. We know we receive life and breath from a (mysterious) source which is beyond us. That is like the blood coming from the heart and going back to the heart. –  by Brother David
Love: From Liebe (German), which is from the Latin for “Libido,” which comes from the Latin “Libere” (free, as in “Liberty”).  
Library: From the Latin word, Liber — with a long I — meaning, “to peel,” which would refer to the inner bark of a tree. Early manuscripts were writen on these bark, and from this bark we get the modern word “Library.” 

Office: Originally meant, “Church serivce.” (Note the secularization of the term.)

Educate: Educate literally means `lead out.’ The word comes from the past participle of Latin educare `bring up, rear,’ and `educate.’ It was related to Latin educere `lead out’ (source of English educe), a compound verb formed from the prefix ex- `out’ and ducere `lead’ (source of English duct, duke, and a whole host of derivatives such as deduce and seduce). Education, which first appears in the 16th century, was formed by the addition of the suffix -ion to educate, and -ion comes from Latin -ionem, a suffix forming nouns of condition and action.


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Mortgage:  In the word mortgage, the mort- is from the Latin word mori (via old french mort) for death and -gage is from the sense of that word meaning a pledge to forfeit something of value if a debt is not repaid. So mortgage is literally a death pledge.

Profit: comes from Latin meaning “to make progress”, is defined in two different ways. Under capitalism, profit is a positive return made on an investment by an individual or by business operations.

Capital: All forms of ‘capital’ originate in the same word, the Latin ‘capitalis’, literally ‘pertaining to the head’. In the world of economics it has meaning ‘of or pertaining to the original funds of a trader, company, or corporation; principal; hence, serving as a basis for financial and other operations’

Money: From the Latin word “moneta” which originally meant, “warning.”

Bank: The term is derived from banco, the Italian word for bench, as the Lombard Jews in Italy kept benches in the market place, where they exchanged money and bills, When a banker failed, his bench was broken up by the populace; and from this circumstance sprang the term bankrupt “(Francis, History of the Bank of England, p.15).

Power: Comes from Latin root posse, which means to be able.
Hierarchy: The term etymologically means “sacred rule”, but has come to denote any pyramid-like acyclic network arrangement.
Anarchy: Means no archy or absence of any (external) authority like patriarchy, monarchy, oligarchy or authority of State.
Radical: The word radical means “belonging to the root”.See more.
Conspiracy: Comes from Latin word ‘conspirare’ meaning to breathe together; conspiracy theories emphasise the invisible forces and actions (of selfish harmful intent by special interests) behind the visible historical events.
Community: The origin of the word “community” comes from the Latin munus, which means the gift, and cum, which means together, among each other. So community literally means to give among each other.
Abundance: The word “abundance” comes from a Latin root meaning “to move in waves, undulate, flow.”  The natural bountiful wave energy dance of the Universe. 
Utopia: Greek for “no where”.
Emotion: The word “emotion” comes from a Latin root meaning “to move through or out.” e-motion energy in motion.
Dharma: Dharma is derived from the root Dhr – to hold. It is that which holds an entity together. That is, Dharma is that which gives integrity to an entity and holds the core identity, form and function of that entity.Dharma is also defined as righteousness and duty. To do one’s dharma is to be righteous, to do one’s dharma is to do one’s duty.
Meditation: This comes from the root of Medicine. That which cures. That which heals. That which restores balance and harmonizes the system (body-mind).

Hypothesis: Greek, hypotithenai meaning “to put under” or “to suppose;a reasoned proposal, an educated guess, suggested proposal for observed phenomena; In common usage it means a provisional idea; Scientific hypotheses must be testableRhetoric: Rhetoric (from Greek ρήτωρ, rhêtôr, “orator”) is the art or technique of persuasion, usually through the use of language. Rhetoric is one of the three original liberal arts or trivium (the other members are dialectic and grammar) in Western culture

Intuition: It comes from the Latin word – ‘intueri’ meaning ‘to look within’.

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English is a very imprecise language. There are often single words or phrases that have multiple meanings. Within the field of religion, many faith groups have existed largely in isolation from others. They have assigned a multitude of often unrelated and sometimes mutually exclusive meanings to a single word. For example, there are about 17 different definitions of “Witch”, seven of “cult” and five or six of “Pagan.” This leads to massive misunderstanding and confusion.
Many words used in modern English have changed their meaning over the years. This is shown in the table below.
Word Original Meaning
awful deserving of awe
brave cowardice (as in bravado)
counterfeit legitimate copy
girl young person of either sex
guess take aim
knight boy
luxury sinful self indulgence
neck parcel of land (as in neck of the woods)
notorious famous
nuisance injury, harm
quick alive (as in quicksilver)
sophisticated corrupted
tell to count (as in bank teller)
truant beggar
The word silly meant blessed or happy in the 11th century going through pious, innocent, harmless, pitiable, feeble, feeble minded before finally ending up as foolish or stupid.
Pretty began as crafty then changed via clever, skilfully made, fine to beautiful.
Buxom began with the meaning obedient and changed via compliant, lively, plump to large breasted.
The word nice meant stupid and foolish in the late 13th Century. It went through a number of changes including wanton, extravagant, elegant, strange, modest, thin, and shy. By the middle of the 18th Century it had gained its current meaning of pleasant and agreeable.
Words are changing meaning now: consider how the words ‘bad’ and ‘gay’ have changed in recent years.