"Also, I can kill you with my brain." (toastedcheese) wrote in linguaphiles,
"Also, I can kill you with my brain."
toastedcheese
linguaphiles

Semantic Change

I think this is my first post here!

I came across the following etymology for "liberty" here.

Liberty - The Latin words "Liber," "Libera," and "Liberum" -- with a Long I -- came from the root meaning, "to pour." From this, we get the word "Liberty" (hence pronounced with a short I), from the freedom we feel when we get drunk.

As far as I can tell from my Internet explorations, this isn't true, and they're mixing up "liber" with "libare." However, I'm not very knowledgeable about Latin, so I thought I'd get a second opinion.

If it's not true, I'd be interested in other examples of words that have gone through really startling semantic change. Specifically words that involve ideology or value judgments (sophisticated and heresy are examples I've got so far.)
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  • Il donne sa langue au chat

    It is not enough to read French correctly. It is not enough to literally understand what is written. You also need to be French in order to…

  • FRENCH: yes, sir

    I'd like to ask you what would a French soldier say, after he receives an order, before he goes away. I believe in English it's simply "Yes, sir!"

  • KO == Not OK

    I've noticed that the acronym KO in French and Italian informal communication can mean simply "not OK" without particular relation to the original…