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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What's the root of the word "reckless"?

: reckless etymology

Why: I engaged in some reckless behavior today.

Answer: There is no root! That's just the word!
  • O.E. receleas "careless, thoughtless, heedless,"
  • earlier reccileas, from -leas "-less" + *rece, reccereccan "to care,"
  • from W.Gmc. *rokijanan
  • (cf. O.N. rækja "to care for," O.H.G. giruochan "to care for, have regard to," Ger. geruhen "to deign," which is infl. by ruhen "to rest"). No known cognates outside Gmc.
  • The same affixed form is in Ger. ruchlos, Du. roekeloos "wicked."
  • Root verb reck (O.E. reccan) is passing into obscurity. The -k- sound is probably a northern influence from O.N. cognate roekja.
Source: EtymOnline

The More You Know: What do those abbreviations mean!!!
  • c.f. = L. confer "compare," i.e. "see this entry for more information"
  • Du. = Dutch
  • Ger. = German
  • Gmc. = Germanic, a branch of Indo-European, ancestral language of English, German, Dutch, Frisian, Scandinavian tongues and several extinct languages such as Gothic and Frankish.
  • O.E. = Old English
  • O.H.G. = Old High German, the ancestor of the modern literary German language, spoken in the upland regions of Germany; German language as written and spoken from the earliest period to c.1100.
  • O.N. = Old Norse
  • W.Gmc. = West Germanic, the subgroup of Germanic comprising English, Dutch, German, Yiddish, Frisian, etc.; also the language spoken by the ancestral group during the presumed period of unity.

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