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114 "sincere" (Word origins - alt.usage.english)




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This article is from the alt.usage.english FAQ, by Mark Israel misrael@scripps.edu with numerous contributions by others.

114 "sincere" (Word origins - alt.usage.english)


"Sincere" is sometimes said to derive from Roman quarrymen's
temporarily concealing imperfections in marble blocks by rubbing wax
on them. On its AOL message board, Merriam-Webster Editorial
Department writes: "The theory that 'sincere' ultimately derives
from Latin "sine cera", meaning 'without wax', is a popular one;
unfortunately, there is no evidence to support it. A far more
likely origin, in our view, is that the Latin word "sincerus"
derives from "sem-" ('one') and "-cerus" (akin to Latin "crescere",
meaning 'to grow')."

 

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