Sunday, 4 May 2008

galore and warlock

galore is from Irish Gaelic go leór "enough", which is from the particle go plus leór "enough". leór is from Old Irish lour, an alternation of roar, from the Proto-Celtic compound *ro-wero- "sufficiency". This is formed from the intensive prefix *ro- (from PIE *per-) and *wero- from PIE *wērh₂-o- "true, trustworthy".

*wērh₂-o- in Proto-Germanic became *wēra, then Old English wǣr "covenant, pledge". warlock is from Old English wǣrloga, the loga being related to Old English lēoȝan "to lie, deceive" (from PIE *leugʱ- "to lie"). So the etymological meaning of this word is "pledge-breaker". The Middle English warlow(e) was replaced by the Scots variant warlo(c)k.

*wērh₂-o- also became Latin vērus "true", and very.


Jon Boy said...

Are there any reflexes of wǣr in English today?

goofy said...

Not as far as I can tell.