respect, expect, etc.


You found out what it means to me.

Here are some more words that derive from the Latin specĕre ‘to look.’ You know what they mean, so we’ll skip the definitions and inspect only the etymologies that are not obvious. The prefixes are also from Latin.

aspect a-, ad- ‘to’ or ‘at’  + spicĕre to look at

despicable and despise, both from Latin de ‘down’ + spicĕre, hence, ‘to look down upon’

expect ex- ‘out’ + spect-āre to look, frequentative of spec-ĕre to see, hence ‘to look out for, await’


perspective per- ‘through’

prospect pro- ‘forward’

respect, Probably partly < classical Latin respect-, past participial stem of respicere to look round, look back, to look round at, to look round and see, to be turned towards, face, to look back on, review, to cast one’s mind back, to turn one’s thoughts or attention to, to take notice of, to have regard for, to show concern for, to have reference (to),

species and specimen

< Latin speciēs (ablative singular speciē specie n.) appearance, form, kind, etc., < specĕre to look, behold

spectre (specter) specĕre to look, see, hence, ‘an apparition’

spectrum like specter originally meant ‘an apparition or phantom.’ Goethe used the term in his Theory of Colors as Schopenhauer did in On Vision and Colors to designate a ghostly optical afterimage. Newton first used the word spectrum in print in its present sense of ‘the continuum of color formed when a beam of white light is dispersed (as by passage through a prism) so that its component wavelengths are arranged in order’ in 1671 in describing his experiments in optics.

speculate < Latin speculāt-, participial stem of speculārī to spy out, watch, examine, observe, etc., < specula a look-out, watch-tower, < specĕre to see, look.

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1 Response to respect, expect, etc.

  1. Pingback: Of Spies and Spectacles | Lexie Kahn: Word Snooper

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