Thursday, February 13, 2014

Etiquette’ and Manners’ —Word Usages and Origins

  “The ancient kings were watchful in regard to the things by which the mind was affected. And so they instituted ceremonies to direct men's aims aright; music to give harmony to their voice; laws to unify their conduct...” Confucius,  on clarifying manners and civility 

Confucius (551/552-479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, philosopher and politician during the so-called Hundred Schools of Thought era.


The Root of "Manners" is "Hand" — Middle English manere, from Old French maniere, from feminine of manier, handmade, skillful, from Vulgar Latin *manuārius, convenient, handy, from Latin, of the hand, from manus, hand; see man-2 in Indo-European roots. 

That speaks volumes about manners to HAND-le with skill.


The manner of doing something is via ...

Fr. maniire, from LL. manuarius, be- 
longing to the hand. Manual, both as 
a handbook, and in manual labor, is 
from the same source. Emancipate is a 
bit more roimdabout, dating from the 
days when the parent had power over 
the son: only the head of the family 
could acquire property: L. manceps, 
mancip — , one that acquires property, 
from manu-]rcapere, capt—, to tala by 
hand (whence also capture, captivate, 
etc Captive and caitiff are doublets, 
from L. captivus, from capt — . Captain is 
from quite other source ; see achieve.) : 
ex, out, whence emancipare, emancipat — , 
to take from the property holder. 
From the Dictionary of Word Origins Joseph T. Shipley 1937

et•i•quette (ˈɛt ɪ kɪt, -ˌkɛt) 


1. conventional requirements as to proper social behavior.
2. a prescribed code of usage in matters of ceremony: court etiquette.
3. the code of ethical behavior among the members of a profession: medical etiquette.
[1740–50; < French étiquette, Middle French estiquette ticket, memorandum, derivative of estiqu(i)er to attach < Germanic]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010


 This may have come natural to the ancients, for it is of Teut. origin. (Remember the story of the old man who walked through the crowded Athenian bleachers at a stadium ; when he came to the Spartan section, the men rose as one, to offer him a seat — whereupon the Athenians applauded. When they were still again, a man from Thessaly observed : "The Athenians recognize virtue; the Spartans practice it.") 
From the Dictionary of Word Origins Joseph T. Shipley 1937

Submitted by Demita Usher of Social Graces and Savoir Faire

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