"free" as "be fond of"

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Gale_, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Gale_

    Gale_ Member

    Hello, it's me again.
    I wonder if English word freedom relates to concept of love historically too?
    (From Wiktionary)
    (From here: http://www.wordreference.com/definition/free)

    And I don't know, maybe I should ask about all these things in one thread (I mean that http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2593243&p=13077752#post13077752), or it's better to do it in different ones :confused:
  2. Testing1234567 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Allow me to quote Online Etymology Dictionary:

    This word has undergone quite a lot of semantic shifts to mean "love", "peace", "friend", and "free". In fact, it is still seen in English, as "friend" and "free" are from the same PIE root. The sense of "peace" is in Middle English frith and frede until Old French pais displaced it.

    The meaning "free" is acquired in Proto-Germanic already, I believe. "Freedom" would be as simple as "free" + "-dom". I don't think "freedom" meant "love" at any point.
  3. sotos Senior Member

    There is a (approximate) parallel with the Gr. ελεύθερος (free) that has the same root with Ελευθώ/Λητώ the godess of birth. One can assume that the pregnant woman gets "free" from the burden of pregnacy, but the original meaning of the root is "come, arrive", i.e., it may refer to the new baby. If there is some relation between the words, this is the "life instincts".
  4. Gale_

    Gale_ Member

    Thank you for answering!
    An interesting chain of meanings, isn't it?

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