General Question

lippukop's avatar

What is the origin and etymology of the word SINCERE?

Asked by lippukop (1points) April 20th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

6 Answers

gambitking's avatar

I dunno about the wiki article, but lemme sum it up from what I know.

It’s latin, and it basically means “without wax”. The way that such a phrase evolved into what we consider the meaning of ‘sincere’ is that pottery makers would sometimes use wax to cover up flaws or breaks in the vessels they sold. But those of high quality with no flaws were said to be “without wax” or “sin (san?) cere”. There you go.

podictionary's avatar

I just today did a podcast and blog post on the etymology of the word sincere. The “without wax” etymology is thought to be an incorrect folk etymology with the real Latin roots going back to Indo-European. The word in Latin meant pure and the IE roots were two words meaning “one growth.” From this I believe that this word is actually influenced by the ancient wine trade. See my post here and my book on wine etymology at Amazon

EmpressPixie's avatar

The Wikipedia reference talks about the rise of the folk etymology “without wax” as well as the accepted scholarly etymology from the OED.

arnbev959's avatar

I smell spam.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther