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History & Etymology of Agricultural Words

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Lisa Erickson

on 11 December 2012

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Transcript of History & Etymology of Agricultural Words

of the
English Language The Evolution of
Agricultural Words Lisa, Liz, Lauren & Ryan AGRICULTURE n., adj. Etymology - Latin

1440 - first use, definition of cultivating soil to grow crops or an instance of such.

1661 - first use as an adj., definition is simply of or relating to agriculture.

Today, the definition has widened to refer to almost all aspects of farming and growing crops and raising livestock. GRAZE v. DOMESTIC adj. SAGINATE v. Etymology- Latin 1623 - To fatten animals
1633 - Becomes used figuratively
1854 - Last recorded use Etymology - OE, grass from Middle Dutch, High German 1564 - The word adapts to usage that applies the action to farmers and people allowing or bringing their animals to fields to feed them. We see other uses before that, but they apply the verb to the animal which is not the usual meaning today. Etymology- Latin 1620 - The word is adapted to apply to animals that have been tamed by people and live under their care. This definition continues to be in use today, if not as widespread as it once may have been. Amalgamation of OE bere (barley) and ern (place, closet, store-room). First used in 950 as bere-ern, is shortened to beren by 1250 and is bern in Middle English. Is barne by 1500s and is finally just barn by Modern English. Widened to mean really any building now. Interesting compounds: barn-burner, barn-stormer, barn-yard. Barn, n. Has roots in Old English and Old Germanic, which had the sense of 'fence' that is still used in German and Dutch and relates to our use because of the idea of a town being 'closed in.' Originally was used to described an enclosed field, then widened (literally) to mean all the buildings on one farmstead. I think it shifted towards how we use it today because as farms grew more people would farm them, therefore more houses would be on the land. Interesting uses are town car, man about town and women of the town. Field, n. Extremely old Old English word. Cognate with Old Frisian, Old Germanic, Old Dutch and Old Saxon words of basically the same meaning (feld, felt, feld, feld). Has had basically the same meaning with some shifts that all occurred during the OE period: originally just meant an open space as opposed to a forest or swamp, then referred to pastureland, then to the meaning of arable land that we mostly use today. Also has uses in the military, games, hunting and sports. House, n. Cognate with almost exact same word
in Old Frisian, Old Dutch, Old Saxon,
Old German, Old Icelandic,
Old Swedish and Old Danish.

Primary meaning is 'a buidling for habitation, and related senses'- therefore can be
used for almost anything.
You can take almost any word referring to
an action or something that is
manufactured and compound
it with house. Distaff (n): a staff with a cleft end for holding wool, flax, etc., from which the thread is drawn in spinning by hand. Parrock, n. Old English word meaning an enclosed piece of land, later being used mostly for keeping animals, in some places specifically ewes before lambing. The word is still used in this sense in some British regions, and was used for some time in the 1800s as a small apartment or narrow room in a building or in the early 1900s as a group of things or people packed in closely together. In the 1500s the word 'paddock' took on the same meaning as the word in the agriculture sense and is now more commonly used. Distaff (n): the sphere of work by women
Distaff (adj): characteristic of or peculiar to a woman; "female sensitiveness"; "female suffrage" ~1000-1386 ~1396- Distaff Crop The word 'plow' as a noun, indicating the farm implement, has been in existence since the Proto-Germanic period (*plogo-). Biodiversity, n. Green - Adj. Of, relating to, or supporting environmentalism, esp. as a political issue; Originally, in O.E. grene "green, young,
immature, raw," Today, being “Green” means taking measures to become environmentally conscious in your decisions – using various every day methods to reduce the harm that your living does to the environment. Not only people can be Green - Cars, homes, a myriad of products even vacation destinations! Green can also be used as an action 1.) To make more environmentally sustainable, and
2.) To revitalize or rejuvenate; To bring new life to your home by making it more efficient and functional for your lifestyle. Organic - adj. and n. Of, relating to, or derived from living matter and A method of farming or gardening: using no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals. Also designating a farmer or gardener utilizing such a method, or a farm on which the method is employed. Sustainability - N The property of being environmentally sustainable;
The degree to which a process or enterprise is able to be maintained or continued while avoiding the long-term depletion of natural resources. Etymology: < bio- comb. form + diversity n. Diversity of plant and animal life, esp. as represented by the number of extant species. The term biological diversity was used first by wildlife scientist and conservationist Raymond F. Dasmann in the 1968 lay book A Different Kind of Country advocating conservation.

The term was widely adopted only after more than a decade, when in the 1980s it came into common usage in science and environmental policy. Since the 1980s human sustainability has been related to the integration of environmental, economic, and social dimensions towards global stewardship and responsible management of resources. 1 Stable From Old French 'estable', which meant a housing for farm animals. Adopted into Middle English in the early 1300s as a building that housed horses, and sometimes applied to a housing for cows. Fun Fact: Also was used as a term for a brothel. Adopted as an adjective, meaning 'strong or steadfast' in the late 1300s. First used as a verb, 'to put in a stable', in the early 1400s. The noun 'crop' has been in existence since the Old English period. It originally meant 'a protuberance', like the Old High German word 'kropf', which in Modern German means 'goiter'. Ew. Town, n to 'crop' a photograph? That's the use of the earlier sense of the word! It was used to describe the bulb-like shoots of a new plant, and by the 1200s, it had taken on the meaning of a verb 'to cut the head off of a plant'. From there, it took its modern meaning of a plant grown for harvesting. By 1358, it was used primarily as a noun in that sense. BTW However, the English verb 'to plow' first appeared in its transitive form in the 1580s.
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