I have had my first Word Wednesday request. YAY!! So, at the request of Wendy, I present to you the word “diagnosis”.
Diagnosis first appeared as a medical term in the 1680s from the Greek diagnosis “a discerning, distinguishing,” from stem of diagignoskein “discern, distinguish,” literally “to know thoroughly,” from dia- “apart” (see dia-) + gignoskein “to learn” (see gnostic). (from the Online Etymology Dictionary)
Well, that was too easy. So I decided to investigate a couple of other more serious mental terms, like “mental” and “health”.
Again, from the Online Etymology Dictionary – “mental” first appeared in the early 15th century in Middle French (the French language as written and spoken c. 1400-c.1600) this was from the Late Latin (the literary Latin language as spoken and written c.300-c.700) mentalis “of the mind”. The Online Etymology Dictionary digs deeper into the root of the word, but I think this explanation sums it up. What I found most interesting was the Modern English (language of Britain and British America since mid-16century) definition – mental, a noun – mind (noun). The meaning “crazy, deranged” is from 1927. So apparently you didn’t go “mental” until after 1927. Who knew?
From the Online Etymology Dictionary we bring you the word “health”. From the Old English (the English language as written and spoken c.450-c.1100) hælþ “wholeness, a being whole, sound or well,” and from Proto-Germanic (hypothetical prehistoric ancestor of all Germanic languages, including English) hailitho and from Proto-Indo-European (the hypothetical reconstructed ancestral language of the Indo-European family. The time scale is much debated, but the most recent date proposed for it is about 5,500 years ago) kailo “whole, uninjured, of good omen”. In Middle English (the English language as written and spoken c.1100-c.1500) health not only referred to physical health, but also “prosperity, happiness, welfare; preservation, safety.”
Well there you have it. The Madhouse was having a 3-for-1 deal today! Would you like to make a request? Comment or inbox me firstname.lastname@example.org.