Talk:electric

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About the etymology[edit]

In the etymology of this word the following text appears currently:

From Latinized Greek electrinus "made of amber", from Ancient Greek ἤλεκτρον (elektron) "amber", from ἠλέκτωρ (elektor) "shiny, bright", from ἥλιος (helios) "sun".
  1. Is it electrinus or electricus?. The word ἠλεκτρικός is not in my dictionary but it does not seem to be an improbable ancient Greek word. Is it electrinus a typo or was electricus never used in Latin centuries ago?.
  2. According to my dictionary of ancient Greek (634 pages thick, small type, pocket sized, hand bound, probably quite more than sixty years old, bought in a secon-hand bookshop and with no mention of the author, the editor or the place where it was printed whatsoever but a good one) ἠλέκτωρ is a masculine noun meaning just "the sun". The ending of the word is not a adjectival Greek one. If the root means "to shine", it would mean "the shining one" or "the radiant one" rather than "shiny" or "radiant".
  3. The same dictionary, immediately after the definition, goes on thus (the words between square brackets are mine): «as if ἀλέκτωρ [cockerel], fr. α 1 [negative prefix, 'without', '-less'], and λέκτρον [bed], Κ.Η.ζ, 513.» ... i.e. along with the suffix "-ωρ" (English "er") it would mean something like "bed remover" (a good nickname for a cockerel, I guess). This makes me think that the etymology may be more complex than that stated in the article. I do not know what the reference "Κ.Η.ζ, 513" is but this could be one of those cases where a blending of concepts and similar words get together to make up a "catchy clever" word. It might be as well an ancient folk etymology, though. According to this, the origin of the Greek word elektron is unknown...--Piolinfax 12:17, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
As for question 1: "electricus", which was coined in w:De Magnete in 1600, so it's "New Latin", apparently... I'm writing about the etymology on Wikipedia in w:quantity of electricity (though this might be moved to a different title).
It also appears that "electric" could be used as a noun originally; a piece of amber would be called "an electric" to signify that it could hold a charge. Omegatron 00:13, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh. This is actually the only definition present in the 1828 and 1913 Websters: [1] Omegatron 00:14, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
This gives an archaic definition, too, so my edit was good. Omegatron 01:46, 16 July 2007 (UTC)