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Old 08-27-2011, 12:18 AM   #82
Soldier of Macedon
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Originally Posted by Delodephius View Post
I just read in a dictionary (and also found a similar entry on Wikipedia), that "mir, měr, mierz, myr" could also mean "prestige" in Common Slavic, besides "peace" and "world".
http://blog.oup.com/2009/04/peace/
Quote:
Peace migrated to English from French. Pax, the etymon of peace, stood for “something fixed, united, joined together”; hence pact. Among its numerous, often barely recognizable cognates, whose meanings go all the way from “make firm; satisfy” to “seize, receive” and thereby “make firm,” the ancestor of Engl. fair “beautiful, pleasing” turns up (Germanic f corresponds to Latin p, as in the pater ~ father couple), and it is especially interesting. Peace, with its show of stability, was clearly understood as a good thing. In most Slavic languages the word for “peace” is mir, known to the outside world from the name of the space station “Mir,” though in Russian mir has two senses: “peace” and “world.” This word is akin to mil- “nice, pleasant.” The sense attested in the English adjective fair does not seem to have been present in the closest cognates of pax, but the Germanic-Slavic parallel is not fortuitous: peace is something “fixed” and “beautiful.” Another curious coincidence may be worthy of note. Russian mir “world” developed from “community of farmers,” so that “togetherness” yielded “peace.” Obviously related to pax is Latin pagus “(rural) district, the country,” originally “landmark fixed in the earth,” whence paganus “rustic,” later “pagan.” Once again living together, in a community, became inseparable from “peace.”
I have the book written by Anatoly Liberman, it seems like an interesting read, good information on etymologies and the formation of words.
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