Added: Amandeep Tyre - Date: 05.10.2021 21:19 - Views: 23889 - Clicks: 5791
The Right Honorable William Hupy raised another interesting question in an e-mail to me today. We know the answers to some of the questions surrounding these words but not all. How the meaning of the Latin word testis wandered off to its other meaning, the one English borrowed, is one of the great unsolved mysteries of etymology. The funniest theory is that the Romans placed their right hands on their testicles and swore by them before giving testimony in court. Cute but no evidence. More convincing but still pure speculation with no analogies of the sound changes required.
So, history bears no witness to the connections between the family jewels and witnesses—which is always more fun since we are allowed to concoct whatever relatively reasonable etymologies as please us. This entry was posted on Friday, September 22nd, at pm and is filed under Word Origins.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2. You can leave a responseor trackback from your own site. Testis is the medical word for testicle: is it possible that this word underlies testify and testimony? The heart in the OT was the seat of reason. Why then do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor? Why has every face turned pale? I am aware of it being a common practice in other ancient cultures also but I have no access now to quotes to demonstrate that.
Apparently all explanations are as weak as the others. During ancient Roman times, when a Roman was asked to be a Where did the word testimony come from or to testify, he was required to touch his testicles and swear by them to tell the truth under penalty of sterility by their Roman gods.
Sterility in many cultures, particularly during ancient Roman times, was a personal curse and socially embarrassing. Perhaps, this might also be the reason why women during those ancient Roman times were not allowed to testify or swear to tell the truth, much less did they have any civil rights, because they had no testicles. Amay P. Name required.
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