Key words

That capitalism is all wrapped up in herding and cattle breeding got my attention. Raymond Williams has a whole book called Key Words, but many key words for economics are missing there.

Notice often the slow evolution of modern meanings out of much more socially rooted meanings.

Most of these from either the online etymological dictionary or the OED, with some comments by me. I think these word origins reveal a great deal about the nature of the radical transition from the more interpersoanl and grounded world of the past and tje more detached commodicication world of the present. (s in for example The World We Have Lost.) The interconnections among the words is labyrinthine.

I think very important is the discovery that early economy starts with capitalism as the birth of a new head of cattle and ends with private property, isolation and removal from community in death and bereavement. This means the whole of economy, household management, rides between birth and death and it not a free standing static mechanical system.


The word apocalypse comes from greek meaning apo un + kaluptine, to cover. so, to uncover. But why does it lead to such frightening meanings? Because to uncover the realities of social construction of reality is to unerdmine normal people’s need for security in person and ideas.


benches where the jewish money lenders sat. banci


late 12c., bileave, replacing Old English geleafa “belief, faith,” from West Germanic *ga-laubon “to hold dear, esteem, trust” (cognates: Old Saxon gilobo, Middle Dutch gelove, Old High German giloubo, German Glaube), from *galaub- “dear, esteemed,” from intensive prefix *ga- + *leubh- “to care, desire, like, love” (see love (v.)). The prefix was altered on analogy of the verb believe. The distinction of the final consonant from that of believe developed 15c.

“The be-, which is not a natural prefix of nouns, was prefixed on the analogy of the vb. (where it is naturally an intensive) …. [OED]

Belief used to mean “trust in God,” while faith meant “loyalty to a person based on promise or duty” (a sense preserved in keep one’s faith, in good (or bad) faith and in common usage of faithful, faithless, which contain no notion of divinity). But faith, as cognate of Latin fides, took on the religious sense beginning in 14c. translations, and belief had by 16c. become limited to “mental acceptance of something as true,” from the religious use in the sense of “things held to be true as a matter of religious doctrine” (a sense attested from early 13c.).



mid-14c., “to go along with, properly relate to,” from be- intensive prefix, + longen “to go,” from Old English langian “pertain to, to go along with,” which is of uncertain origin but perhaps related to the root of long (adj.). Senses of “be the property of” and “be a member of” first recorded late 14c. Cognate with Middle Dutch belanghen, Dutch belangen, German belangen. Replaced earlier Old English gelang, with completive prefix ge-.

comment: go along with a nd proper leading to propery. Important transitions.


Capital (long entry)

From cap, latin head, as in caput, capital of a country, the rams horns on top of a roman column, why some get to own it and not others? From breeding, head, new head of capital.

as commodity. The separation of capital from the commons is a key dynamic of history. Minerals in the land for example were privately owned but always by the king, that is, the representative of the whole.

from wiki on cattle

Cattle did not originate as the term for bovine animals. It was borrowed from Anglo-Norman catel, itself from medieval Latin capitale ‘principle sum of money, capital’, itself derived in turn from Latin caput ‘head’. Cattle originally meant movable personal property, especially livestock of any kind, as opposed to real property (the land, which also included wild or small free-roaming animals such as chickens — they were sold as part of the land).[9] The word is a variant of chattel (a unit of personal property) and closely related to capital in the economic sense.[10] The term replaced earlier Old English feoh ‘cattle, property’, which survives today as fee (cf. German: Vieh, Dutch: vee, Gothic: faihu).

The word “cow” came via Anglo-Saxon cū (plural cȳ), from Common Indo-European gʷōus (genitive gʷowés) = “a bovine animal”, compare Persian gâv, Sanskrit go-, Welshbuwch.[11] The plural cȳ became ki or kie in Middle English, and an additional plural ending was often added, giving kine, kien, but also kies, kuin and others. This is the origin of the now archaic English plural of “kine”. The Scots language singular is coo or cou, and the plural is “kye”.

In older English sources such as the King James Version of the Bible, “cattle” refers to livestock, as opposed to “deer” which refers to wildlife. “Wild cattle” may refer to feral cattle or to undomesticated species of the genus Bos. Today, when used without any other qualifier, the modern meaning of “cattle” is usually restricted to domesticated bovines.[12]

Etymology: < capital n.2 + -ism suffix, after capitalist n.

Compare French capitalisme … (Show More)

The possession of capital or wealth; an economic system in which private capital or wealth is used in the production or distribution of goods and prices are determined mainly in a free market; the dominance of private owners of capital and of production for profit. Cf. capitalist n., socialism n. 2.Sometimes used depreciatively.

Freq. with modifying term; for anarcho-, anti-, market, monopoly, popular, pro-, state, venture, welfare capitalism: see the first element.

1833 Standard 23 Apr., Whatever tended to paralyse British industry could not but produce corresponding injury to France; when the same tyranny of capitalism which first produced the disease would be at hand to inflame the symptoms by holding out promises of loans, &c.

1848 Caledonian Mercury 25 Sept., That sweeping tide of capitalism and money-loving which threatens our country with the horrors of a plutocracy.1884 Pall Mall Gaz. 11 Sept. 6/1 A loophole for capitalism to creep in upon the primitive Christian communism.

1894 S. Gompers in J. Swinton Striking for Life 318 When the time comes, if it does come, for the displacement of the barbarity of capitalism to make way for humane conditions it will be accomplished by men whose heads are as cool as their hearts are warm.

1908 Polit. Sci. Q. 23 670 Socialism..will step into its heritage when capitalism..has created a thoroughly proletarized, class-conscious and revolutionary population.

1919 Amer. Jrnl. Sociol. 24 371 The beginnings of capitalism in England are to be traced to the thrifty manufacturing middle class.

1969 Listener 28 Aug. 267/1 Can capitalism..achieve the rate of growth that planning in a really publicly-owned economy has achieved?

1986 H. J. Maroney Feminism at Work in J. Mitchell & A. Oakley What is Feminism? 119 Kinship networks have also traditionally provided a support base for working-class struggles. Their steady disintegration in late capitalism thus has a mixed import for class-based politics.

2010 N.Y. Times (National ed.) 15 June a25/3 The rivalry between democratic capitalism and state capitalism is not like the rivalry between capitalism and communism.


1530s, from Middle French commerce (14c.), from Latin commercium “trade, trafficking,” from com- “together” (see com-) + merx (genitive mercis) “merchandise” (see market (n.)).


an article of trade or commerce, especially a product as distinguished from a service.

something of use, advantage, or value.

Stock Exchange. any unprocessed or partially processed good, as grain, fruits, and vegetables, orprecious metals.


1375–1425; late Middle English commodite < Anglo-French < Latin commoditās timeliness, convenience,equivalent to commod ( us ) (see commode) + -itās -ity


a low cabinet or similar piece of furniture, often highly ornamental, containing drawers or shelves.

a stand or cupboard containing a chamber pot or washbasin.

toilet ( def 1 ) .

a portable toilet, especially one on a chairlike frame with wheels, as for an invalid.

an elaborate headdress consisting chiefly of a high framework decorated with lace, ribbons, etc., wornperched on top of the hair by women in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

[The connection of commodities with comfort and toilet is hilarious.]


credo, i believe . 1520s, from Middle French crédit (15c.) “belief, trust,” from Italian credito, from Latin creditum “a loan, thing entrusted to another,” from past participle of credere “to trust, entrust, believe” (see credo). The commercial sense was the original one in English (creditor is mid-15c.). Meaning “honor, acknowledgment of merit,” is from c. 1600. Academic sense of “point for completing a course of study” is 1904. Movie/broadcasting sense is 1914. Credit rating is from 1958; credit union is 1881, American English.


Old English earnian “deserve, earn, merit, win, get a reward for labor,” from Proto-Germanic *aznojan (cf. Old Frisian esna”reward, pay”), from *azna “labor” especially “field labor” (cf. Old Norse önn “work in the field”), from PIE *aznon “to do harvest work, serve” (cf. Old High German arnon “to reap”), denominative verb from *es-en- “harvest, fall” (cf. Old High German aren “harvest, crop,” German Ernte “harvest,” Old English ern “harvest,” Gothic asans “harvest, summer,” Old Church Slavonic jeseni, Russian osen, Old Prussian assanis “autumn”).

Also from the same root are Gothic asneis, Old High German esni “hired laborer, day laborer,” Old English esne “serf, laborer, man.” Related: Earned; earning.

Economics (see longer entry at the end of the Glossary.)

from ecoi, greek for household, really estate, plus nomos law, or in the greek case managment principles, hence estate management. What is striking is that Aristotle and Xenophnaes wrote books with that title economs, an where holistic conepts in volving land, its use, the family and family relationships, slaves, polis, etc. The declin of economics from holistic amangement to the game of moeny is a mjor part of the history of economics.

Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb, Jr. in for the common good: redirecting the economy toward community, the environment, and a sustainable future,define oikonomia as follows.

“The Discipline of Economics as Chrematistics:

“Aristotle made a very important distinction between ‘oikonomia’ and ‘chrematistics.’ The former, of course, is the route from which our word ‘economics’ derives. Chrematistics is a word that these days is found mainly in unabridged dictionaries. It can be defined as a branch of political economy relating to the manipulation of property and wealth so as to maximize short-term monetary exchange value to the owner. Oikonomia, by contrast, is the management of the household so as to increase its use value to all members of the household over the long run. If we expand the scope of household to include the larger community of the land, of shared values, resources, biomes, institutions, language, and history, then we have a good definition of ‘economics for community.’”


the same, but logos meaning more physical probperties rather than ma made as in nomos. The contrast between nomos and logos is important and complex.


word “elite” itself has its origins in“eligo,” meaning released.

the elite as a group of released, selected for the service of the common good.

related to elect


The most widely held theory is put forth by Marc Bloch.[14][15][16] Bloch said it is related to the Frankish term *fehu-ôd, in which *fehu means “cattle” and -ôd means “goods”, implying “a moveable object of value.”[15][16] When land replaced currency as the primary store of value, the Germanic word*fehu-ôd replaced the Latin word beneficium.[15][16]


early 13c., “well-born,” from Old French gentil “high-born, noble, of good family” (11c., in Modern French “nice, graceful, pleasing; fine pretty”), from Latin gentilis “of the same family or clan,” from gens (genitive gentis) “race, clan,” from root of gignere “beget,” from PIE root *gen- “produce” (see genus). Sense of “gracious, kind” (now obsolete) first recorded late 13c.; that of “mild, tender” is 1550s. Older sense remains in gentleman.


“well-born man,” early 13c., from gentle + man.

The Gentleman is always truthful and sincere; will not agree for the sake of complaisance or out of weakness ; will not pass over that of which he disapproves. He has a clear soul, and a fearless, straightforward tongue. On the other hand he is not blunt and rude. His truth is courteous; his courtesy, truthful; never a humbug, yet, where he truthfully can, he prefers to say pleasant things. [J.R. Vernon, “Contemporary Review,” 1869]

Related: Gentlemen. Gentleman’s agreement is first attested 1929. Gentleman farmer recorded from 1749.

Growth (grow)

Old English growan (of plants) “to flourish, increase, develop, get bigger” (class VII strong verb; past tense greow, past participle growen), from Proto-Germanic *gro- (cognates: Old Norse groa “to grow” (of vegetation), Old Frisian groia, Dutch groeien, Old High German gruoen), from PIE root *ghre- “to grow, become green” (see grass). Applied in Middle English to human beings (c. 1300) and animals (early 15c.) and their parts, supplanting Old English weaxan (see wax (v.)) in the general sense of “to increase.” Transitive sense “cause to grow” is from 1774. To grow on “gain in the estimation of” is from 1712.

What is so striking, it is about green.


“single object or thing,” c. 1600, from individual (adj.). Colloquial sense of “person” is attested from 1742. Latin individuum meant “an atom, indivisible particle;” in Middle English individuum was used in sense of “individual member of a species” from early 15c.

individuality (n.)

“the aggregate of one’s idiosyncrasies,” 1610s, from individual + -ity. Meaning “fact of existing as an individual” is from 1650s.

individualize (v.)

1650s, “to point out individually;” see individual + -ize. From 1837 as “to make individual.” Related: Individualized; individualizing.

individualism (n.)

“self-centered feeling,” 1827, from individual + -ism. As a social philosophy (opposed to communism and socialism) first attested 1851 in writings of J.S. Mill.

A majority can never replace the individual. … Just as a hundred fools do not make one wise man, a heroic decision is not likely to come from a hundred cowards. [Adolf Hitler, “Mein Kampf,” 1933]

individually (adv.)

1590s, “indivisibly,” from individual + -ly (2). Meaning “as individuals” is from 1640s.

individualist (n.)

1840, from individual + -ist. Related: Individualistic.

individual (adj.)

early 15c., “one and indivisible” (with reference to the Trinity), from Medieval Latin individualis, from Latin individuus “indivisible,” from in- “not, opposite of” (see in- (1)) + dividuus “divisible,” from dividere “divide” (see divide). Not common before c. 1600 and the 15c. usage might be isolated. Sense of “single, separate” is 1610s; meaning “intended for one person” is from 1889.


1796, “science of ideas,” originally “philosophy of the mind which derives knowledge from the senses” (as opposed to metaphysics), from French idéologie “study or science of ideas,” coined by French philosopher Destutt de Tracy (1754–1836) from idéo- “of ideas,” from Greek idea (see idea) + -logy. Later used in a sense “impractical theorizing” (1813). Meaning “systematic set of ideas, doctrines” first recorded 1909.

Ideology … is usually taken to mean, a prescriptive doctrine that is not supported by rational argument. [D.D. Raphael, “Problems of Political Philosophy,” 1970]


being between. Greek tokos, offspring, calving, child. Note, as in Capital, the grounding in herd, cattle, culture and reproduction, breeding as a source of profit. And much confusion based on sentences like “I am interested in baseball” does not mean, except by memory, “interest” in the financial sense.


Old English lagu (plural laga, comb. form lah-) “law, ordinance, rule, regulation; district governed by the same laws,” from Old Norse *lagu “law,” collective plural of lag “layer, measure, stroke,” literally “something laid down or fixed,” from Proto-Germanic *lagan “put, lay” (see lay (v.)).

Replaced Old English æ and gesetnes, which had the same sense development as law. Compare also statute, from Latin statuere; German Gesetz “law,” from Old High German gisatzida; Lithuanian istatymas, from istatyti “set up, establish.” In physics, from 1660s. Law and order have been coupled since 1796.

In this coupling a rhetorical trick enhancing social law as natural and natural law as important for society.

(added April 25 2017.. An early form of Law as the greek, Nomos, as man made law. WE also have logos, nature made law. The confusion between these two runs through all cultures because the man made is given weight by beng treated as part of nature.

Now to make it more complex, an earlier form of moos was nomia, meaing “equal distribution.” Here we see that the law was a counter balance to a normal process of unequal distribution (as from sacrice, see Mcinerny The gods of the Sun.). The concept is not motivate by its naturalness but by the need for society to counter a natural process if it is destructive.

From the Online Etymological DicrionaryProto-Indo-European

root meaning “assign, allot; take.”

It forms all or part of: agronomy; anomie; anomy; antinomian; antinomy; astronomer; astronomy; autonomous; autonomy; benumb; Deuteronomy; economy; enumerate; enumeration; gastronomy; heteronomy; innumerable; metronome; namaste; nemesis; nimble; nim; nomad; nomothetic; numb; numeracy; numeral; numerator; numerical; numerology; numerous; numismatic; supernumerary; taxonomy.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek nemein “to deal out,” nemesis “just indignation;” Latin numerus “number;” 

In effect it meant equal distribution. The history went like this: hunters shared the kill, the culture of sharing, as hunting evolved to herding, was ritualized as the sacrifice, smoke to the gods, the meat spread around the people. But, as you are imagining,  chiefs wanted more for themselves. The nemein meant equal distribution and was a legal attempt to control concentration. A law is not written unless it is needed to control some process, in this case, concentration, or unequal distribution.


early 14c., leisir, “opportunity to do something” (as in phrase at (one’s) leisure), also “time at one’s disposal,” from Old French leisir (Modern French loisir) “capacity; permission; leisure, spare time; free will; idleness, inactivity,” noun use of infinitive leisir “be permitted,” from Latin licere “be permitted” (see licence). The -u- appeared 16c., probably on analogy of words like pleasure. Phrase leisured class attested by 1836.

A very interesting book is Time, Work and Leisure bySebastian De Grazia.

The promise of “the leisure soiety”afte WW2 was swamllowed up by a managerial class that passed profit upwards rather than down toward workers.


early 12c., “a meeting at a fixed time for buying and selling livestock and provisions,” from Old North French market “marketplace, trade, commerce” (Old French marchiet, Modern French marché), from Latin mercatus “trading, buying and selling, trade, market” (source of Italian mercato, Spanish mercado, Dutch markt, German Markt), from past participle of mercari “to trade, deal in, buy,” from merx (genitive mercis) “wares, merchandise,” from Italic root *merk-, possibly from Etruscan, referring to various aspects of economics. Meaning “public building or space where markets are held” first attested mid-13c. Sense of “sales, as controlled by supply and demand” is from 1680s. Market value (1690s) first attested in writings of John Locke. Market economy is from 1948; market research is from 1921.


Alternative names. Dinero. Tokens. Bills. Money is from Moneda, the treasury in Athens. The first coins were said to be minted in Lydia.

mid-13c., “coinage, metal currency,” from Old French monoie “money, coin, currency; change” (Modern French monnaie), from Latin moneta “place for coining money, mint; coined money, money, coinage,” from Moneta, a title or surname of the Roman goddess Juno, in or near whose temple money was coined; perhaps from monere “advise, warn” (see monitor (n.)), with the sense of “admonishing goddess,” which is sensible, but the etymology is difficult. Extended early 19c. to include paper money.

Money was used by Rome to create a sense of common identity. The sign of the face was important.

Need to think through the heads-tails issue.

Monitor (n.)

1540s, “senior pupil at a school charged with keeping order, etc.,” from Latin monitor “one who reminds, admonishes, or checks,” also “an overseer, instructor, guide, teacher,” agent noun from monere “to admonish, warn, advise,” related to memini “I remember, I am mindful of,” and to mens “mind,” from PIE root *men- “to think” (see mind (n.)).


“mental faculty” is mid-14c. “Memory,” one of the oldest senses, now is almost obsolete except in old expressions such as bear in mind, call to mind. Mind’s eye “remembrance” is early 15c. Phrase time out of mind is attested from early 15c. To pay no mind “disregard” is recorded from 1916, American English dialect. To have half a mind to “to have one’s mind half made up to (do something)” is recorded from 1726. Mind-reading is from 1882.


mid-14c., “to remember, take care to remember,” also “to remind,” from mind (n.). Meaning “perceive, notice” is from late 15c.; that of “to give heed to” is from 1550s; that of “be careful about” is from 1737. Sense of “object to, dislike” is from c.1600; negative use (with not) “to care for, to trouble oneself with” is attested from c.1600. Meaning “to take care of, look after” is from 1690s. Related: Minded; minding. Meiotic expression don’t mind if I doattested from 1847.

Some hint that it relates to latin monere

mind (n.)

late 12c., from Old English gemynd “memory, remembrance, state of being remembered; thought, purpose; conscious mind, intellect, intention,” Proto-Germanic *ga-mundiz (cognates: Gothic muns “thought,” munan “to think;” Old Norse minni “mind;” German Minne (archaic) “love,” originally “memory, loving memory”), from PIE root *men- “think, remember, have one’s mind aroused,” with derivatives referring to qualities of mind or states of thought (cognates: Sanskrit matih “thought,” munih “sage, seer;” Greek memona “I yearn,” mania “madness,” mantis “one who divines, prophet, seer;” Latin mens “mind, understanding, reason,” memini “I remember,” mentio”remembrance;” Lithuanian mintis “thought, idea,” Old Church Slavonic mineti “to believe, think,” Russian pamjat “memory”).

own (adj.)

Old English agen “one’s own,” literally “possessed by,” from Proto-Germanic *aigana- “possessed, owned” (cognates: Old Saxon egan, Old Frisian egin, Old Norseeiginn, Dutch eigen, German eigen “own”), from past participle of PIE *aik- “to be master of, possess,” source of Old English agan “to have” (see owe).

evolved in early Middle English from Old English geagnian, from root agan “to have, to own” (see owe), and in part from the adjective own (q.v.). It became obsolete after c.1300, but was revived early 17c., in part as a back-formation of owner (mid-14c.), which continued. Related: Owned; owning. To own up “make full confession” is from 1853.


Old English agan (past tense ahte) “to have, own,” from Proto-Germanic *aigan “to possess” (cognates: Old Frisian aga, Old Norse eiga, Old High German eigan, Gothicaigan “to possess, have”), from PIE *aik- “to be master of, possess” (cognates: Sanskrit ise “he owns,” isah “owner, lord, ruler;” Avestan is- “riches,” isvan- “well-off, rich”).

Sense of “to have to repay” began in late Old English with the phrase agan to geldanne literally “to own to yield,” which was used to translate Latin debere (earlier in Old English this would have been sceal “shall”); by late 12c. the phrase had been shortened to simply agan, and own (v.) took over this word’s original sense.

An original Germanic preterite-present verb (along with can (v.1), dare, may, etc.). New past tense form owed arose 15c. to replace oughte, which developed into ought(v.).


from greek, mask as in the theater. Again hidden vs seen.


c.1300, fysike, “art of healing, medical science,” also “natural science” (c.1300), from Old French fisike “natural science, art of healing” (12c.) and directly from Latin physica (fem. singular of physicus) “study of nature,” from Greek physike (episteme) “(knowledge) of nature,” from fem. of physikos “pertaining to nature,” from physis “nature,” from phyein “to bring forth, produce, make to grow” (related to phyton “growth, plant,” phyle “tribe, race,” phyma “a growth, tumor”) from PIE root *bheue- “to be exist, grow” (see be). Spelling with ph- attested from late 14c. (see ph). As a noun, “medicine that acts as a laxative,” 1610s. The verb meaning “to dose with medicine” is attested from late 14c.


related to potent. and Hence back to capital as new birth. sexuality
c. 1300, “ability; ability to act or do; strength, vigor, might,” especially in battle; “efficacy; control, mastery, lordship, dominion; legal power or authority; authorization; military force, an army,” from Anglo-French pouair, Old French povoir, noun use of the infinitive, “to be able,” earlier podir (9c.), from Vulgar Latin *potere, from Latin potis “powerful” (see potent).

potent (adj.)Look up potent at Dictionary.comearly 15c., from Latin potentem (nominative potens) “powerful,” present participle of *potere “be powerful,” from potis “powerful, able, capable; possible;” of persons, “better, preferable; chief, principal; strongest, foremost,” from PIE root *poti- “powerful; lord” (source also of Sanskrit patih “master, husband,” Greek posis, Lithuanian patis “husband”). Meaning “having sexual power” is first recorded 1899.


John Locke in the early 1600’s proposed. in justifying private property, that individuals wondered in nature and then acted to possess something and this made it theirs. It is hard to understand but in early times there was no “individual wandering around.” Even the idea of private property is devious. The original laten meant “remove from the pub;ic”. (From Latin prīvātus (“bereaved; set apart from”), perfect passive participle of prīvō (“I bereave, deprive”), from prīvus (“single, peculiar”). That is, death from the group. What is private is a death and the state bereaved. Long way to the modern meaning.

1590s, “private citizen,” short for private person “individual not involved in government” (early 15c.), or from Latin privatus “man in private life,” noun use of the adjective; 1781 in the military sense, short for Private soldier”one below the rank of a non-commissioned officer” (1570s), from private (adj.).private (adj.)

late 14c., “pertaining or belonging to oneself, not shared, individual; not open to the public;” of a religious rule, “not shared by Christians generally, distinctive; from Latin privatus “set apart, belonging to oneself (not to the state), peculiar, personal,” used in contrast to publicus, communis; past participle of privare “to separate, deprive,” from privus “one’s own, individual,” from PIE *prei-wo-, from PIE *prai-, *prei-, from root *per- (1) “forward, through” (see per).

Old English in this sense had syndrig. Private grew popular 17c. as an alternative to common (adj.), which had overtones of condescension. Of persons, “not holding public office,” recorded from early 15c. In private “privily” is from 1580s. Related: Privately. Private school is from 1650s. Private parts “the pudenda” is from 1785. Private enterprise first recorded 1797; private property by 1680s; private sector is from 1948. Private eye “private detective” is recorded from 1938, American English.

Modern theories of alienation hint at separation from the group (bowling alone) is a kind of death.


produce forward . mid-13c., “income;” c. 1300, “benefit, advantage;”from Old French prufit, porfit “profit, gain” (mid-12c.), from Latin profectus “profit, advance, increase, success, progress,” noun use of past participle of proficere (see proficiency). As the opposite of loss, it replaced Old English gewinn. Profit margin attested from 1853.

To produce forward is part of the new head of cattle nexus.


What is proper to a man of rank to show his status in the community. This very important concept has received little serious examination. Locke used it to represent the rights of the aristocracy in the face of the king, but not much is contained there of insight.

It is best seen as a blending of signs of rank, present in all societies, and individualism, present in very few. Hence property in the western sense is a product of cultural combination, not a quality of nature.

1. trans. To use for one’s own ends; to exploit. Also with away. Cf. property n. 6.a1616 Shakespeare King John (1623) v. ii. 79, I am too high-borne to be propertied To be a..seruing-man, and Instrument To any Soueraigne State throughout the world.

1758 Herald I. Ded. 5 There a vast fund of stupidity amongst mankind, to make continually property’d away for the interests of a few crafty leaders.

2. trans. To make one’s own property; to appropriate; to take or hold possession of.

a1616 Shakespeare Timon of Athens (1623) i. i. 58 His large Fortune..Subdues and properties to his loue and tendance All sorts of hearts.

1749 Seventh Let. from Farmer 10 Whatever is propertied, whatever is possessed, whatever Industry can earn, or Opulence can purchase, is granted, fenced, guarded, and affirmed by Liberty.

1833 T. Hook Parson’s Daughter I. x. 203 A being like Emma — whose sentiments, whose character are propertied by the one, one engrossing passion.

3. trans. To imbue with a property or quality. Cf. propertied adj. 1.

1897 F. Thompson Ode Setting Sun in New Poems 113 Thou hast enwoofèd her An empress of the air, And all her births are propertied by thee.


late 14c., “open to general observation,” from Old French public (c. 1300) and directly from Latin publicus “of the people; of the state; done for the state,” also “common, general, public; ordinary, vulgar,” and as a noun, “a commonwealth; public property,” altered (probably by influence of Latin pubes “adult population, adult”) from Old Latin poplicus “pertaining to the people,” from populus “people” (see people (n.)).

Early 15c. as “pertaining to the people.” From late 15c. as “pertaining to public affairs;” meaning “open to all in the community” is from 1540s in English. An Old English adjective in this sense was folclic. Public relations first recorded 1913 (after an isolated use by Thomas Jefferson in 1807). Public office “position held by a public official” is from 1821; public service is from 1570s; public interest from 1670s. Public-spirited is from 1670s. Public enemy is attested from 1756. Public sector attested from 1949. Public funds (1713) are the funded debts of a government.

Public school is from 1570s, originally, in Britain, a grammar school endowed for the benefit of the public, but most have evolved into boarding-schools for the well-to-do. The main modern meaning in U.S., “school (usually free) provided at public expense and run by local authorities,” is attested from 1640s. For public house, see pub. contrast with private, pri-vatus, remove from the public.


[Middle English rente, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *rendita, from feminine past participle of *rendere, to yield, return; see render.]

and tear aprt as in the body was rent.

tr.v. renᄋdered, renᄋderᄋing, renᄋders

1. To submit or present, as for consideration, approval, or payment: render a bill.

2. To give or make available; provide: render assistance.

3. To give what is due or owed: render thanks; rendered homage.

4. To give in return or retribution: He had to render an apology for his rudeness.

5. To surrender or relinquish; yield.

6. a. To represent in verbal form; depict: “Joyce has attempted . . . to render . . . what our participation in life is like” (Edmund Wilson).

b. To represent in a drawing or painting, especially in perspective.

7. Computer Science To convert (graphics) from a file into visual form, as on a video display.

8. Music

a. To perform an interpretation of (a musical piece, for example).

b. To arrange: rendered the composition for string quartet.

9. To express in another language or form; translate.

10. To deliver or pronounce formally: The jury has rendered its verdict.

11. To cause to become; make: The news rendered her speechless.

12. To reduce, convert, or melt down (fat) by heating.

13. To coat (brick, for example) with plaster or cement.

A payment in kind, services, or cash from a tenant to a feudal lord.

[Middle English rendren, from Old French rendre, to give back, from Vulgar Latin *rendere, alteration of Latin reddere (influenced by pr ndere, to grasp) : red-, re-, re- + dare, to give; seed — in Indo-European roots.]

ren derᄋaᄋble adj.

ren derᄋer n.

The American Heritageᆴ Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ᄅ2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

render (ˈrɛndə)

1. to present or submit (accounts, etc) for payment, approval, or action

2. to give or provide (aid, charity, a service, etc)

3. to show (obedience), as due or expected

4. to give or exchange, as by way of return or requital: to render blow for blow.

5. to cause to become: grief had rendered him simple-minded.

6. to deliver (a verdict or opinion) formally

7. to portray or depict (something), as in painting, music, or acting

8. (Computer Science) computing to use colour and shading to make a digital image look three-dimensional and solid

9. to translate (something) into another language or form

10. (sometimes foll by up) to yield or give: the tomb rendered up its secret.

11. (often foll by back) to return (something); give back

12. (Building) to cover the surface of (brickwork, stone, etc) with a coat of plaster

13. (Cookery) (often foll by down) to extract (fat) from (meat) by melting

14. (Nautical Terms) nautical

a. to reeve (a line)

b. to slacken (a rope, etc)

15. (Law) history (of a feudal tenant) to make (payment) in money, goods, or services to one’s overlord

16. (Building) a first thin coat of plaster applied to a surface

17. (Historical Terms) history a payment in money, goods, or services made by a feudal tenant to his lord

[C14: from Old French rendre, from Latin reddere to give back (influenced by Latin prendere to grasp), from re- + dare to give]

ˈrenderable adj ˈrenderer n

ring leader. the idea of the magical ring that leads to invisibility. often stolen from the king.

 Robot, robotics.

robot (n.)

1923, from English translation of 1920 play “R.U.R.” (“Rossum’s Universal Robots”), by Karel Capek (1890-1938), from Czech robotnik “forced worker,” from robota “forced labor, compulsory service, drudgery,” from robotiti “to work, drudge,” from an Old Czech source akin to Old Church Slavonic rabota “servitude,” from rabu “slave,” from Old Slavic *orbu-, from PIE *orbh- “pass from one status to another” (see orphan). The Slavic word thus is a cousin to German Arbeit “work” (Old High German arabeit). According to Rawson the word was popularized by Karel Capek’s play, “but was coined by his brother Josef (the two often collaborated), who used it initially in a short story.”



1300, “living in the world, not belonging to a religious order,” also “belonging to the state,” from Old French seculer (Modern French séculier), from Late Latin saecularis “worldly, secular, pertaining to a generation or age,” from Latin saecularis “of an age, occurring once in an age,” from saeculum “age, span of time, lifetime, generation, breed.”


This is from Proto-Italic *sai-tlo-, which, according to Watkins, is PIE instrumental element *-tlo- + *sai- “to bind, tie” (see sinew), extended metaphorically to successive human generations as links in the chain of life. De Vaan lists as a cognate Welsh hoedl “lifespan, age.” An older theory connected it to words for “seed,” from PIE root *se- “to sow” (see sow (v.), and compare Gothic mana-seþs “mankind, world,” literally “seed of men”).


Used in ecclesiastical writing like Greek aion “of this world” (see cosmos). It is source of French siècle. Ancient Roman ludi saeculares was a three-day, day-and-night celebration coming once in an “age” (120 years). In English, in reference to humanism and the exclusion of belief in God from matters of ethics and morality, from 1850s.


late 13c., “person who is the chattel or property of another,” from Old French esclave (13c.), from Medieval Latin Sclavus “slave” (source also of Italian schiavo, French esclave, Spanish esclavo), originally “Slav” (see Slav); so used in this secondary sense because of the many Slavs sold into slavery by conquering peoples.

This sense development arose in the consequence of the wars waged by Otto the Great and his successors against the Slavs, a great number of whom they took captive and sold into slavery. [Klein]

Meaning “one who has lost the power of resistance to some habit or vice” is from 1550s. Applied to devices from 1904, especially those which are controlled by others (compare slave jib in sailing, similarly of locomotives, flash bulbs, amplifiers). Slave-driver is attested from 1807; extended sense of “cruel or exacting task-master” is by 1854. Slate state in U.S. history is from 1812. Slave-trade is attested from 1734.

Old English Wealh “Briton” also began to be used in the sense of “serf, slave” c.850; and Sanskrit dasa-, which can mean “slave,” apparently is connected to dasyu- “pre-Aryan inhabitant of India.” Grose’s dictionary (1785) has under Negroe “A black-a-moor; figuratively used for a slave,” without regard to race. More common Old English words for slave were þeow (related to þeowian “to serve”) and þræl (see thrall). The Slavic words for “slave” (Russian rab, Serbo-Croatian rob, Old Church Slavonic rabu) are from Old Slavic *orbu, from the PIE root *orbh- (also source of orphan), the ground sense of which seems to be “thing that changes allegiance” (in the case of the slave, from himself to his master). The Slavic word is also the source of robot.


1610s, “bearable,” from sustain + -able. Attested from 1845 in the sense “defensible;” from 1965 with the meaning “capable of being continued at a certain level.” Sustainable growth is recorded from 1965.

“ccontinud at a cetain level” makes nonsence of “sustainable growth.”


The English word of theory was derived from a technical term in philosophy in Ancient Greek. As an everyday word, theoria, θεωρία, meant “a looking at, viewing, beholding”, but in more technical contexts it came to refer to contemplative or speculativeunderstandings of natural things, such as those of natural philosophers, as opposed to more practical ways of knowing things, like that of skilled orators or artisans.[8] The word has been in use in English since at least the late 16th century.[9] Modern uses of the word “theory” are derived from the original definition, but have taken on new shades of meaning, still based on the idea that a theory is a thoughtful and rational explanation of the general nature of things.

Although it has more mundane meanings in Greek, the word θεωρία apparently developed special uses early in the recorded history of the Greek language. In the book From Religion to Philosophy, Francis Cornford suggests that the Orphics used the word “theory” to mean ‘passionate sympathetic contemplation’.[10] Pythagoras changed the word to mean a passionate sympathetic contemplation of mathematical and scientific knowledge, because he considered such intellectual pursuits the way to reach the highest plane of existence. Pythagoras emphasized subduing emotions and bodily desires in order to enable the intellect to function at the higher plane of theory. Thus it was Pythagoras who gave the word “theory” the specific meaning which leads to the classical and modern concept of a distinction between theory as uninvolved, neutral thinking, and practice.[11]


troth , as in I pledge thee my troth. Truth was first interpersonal, then a craftsman with his tols “this saw is true.” Then the relation of things to things, a true description.

utility late 14c., “fact of being useful,” from Old French utilite “usefulness” (13c., Modern French + utilité), earlier utilitet (12c.), from Latin utilitatem (nominative utilitas) “usefulness, serviceableness, profit,” from utilis “usable,” from uti (see use (v.)). Meaning “a useful thing” is from late 15c. As a shortened form of public utility it is recorded from 1930.

utilitarian (n.)

1781, coined by Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) from utility + -arian on the model of + unitarian, etc. One guided by the doctrine of the greatest happiness for the greatest number. From 1802 as an adjective; in the general sense “having regard to utility rather than beauty,” from 1847.

The separation of beuty from utility led to the coining of Aesthetics.


1 the state or quality of being useful; usefulness: This chemical has no utility as an agricultural fertilizer.

2. something useful; a useful thing.

3 a public service, as a telephone or electric-light system, a streetcar or railroad line, or the like.Compare public utility ( def 1 ) .

4. Often, utilities. a useful or advantageous factor or feature: the relative utilities of a religious or a seculareducation.

5. Economics . the capacity of a commodity or a service to satisfy some human want.

10. (of domestic animals) raised or kept as a potentially profitable product rather than for show or as pets:utility breeds; utility livestock.

11. having or made for a number of useful or practical purposes rather than a single, specialized one: autility knife.

12 designed chiefly for use or service rather than beauty, high quality, or the like: a utility vehicle; utilityfurniture.


1350–1400; Middle English utilite < Old French utelite < Latin ūtilitās, equivalent to ūtil ( is ) useful (see utile) + -itās -ity


being of use or service; serving some purpose; advantageous, helpful, or of good effect: a usefulmember of society.
2. of practical use, as for doing work; producing material results; supplying common needs: the useful arts;useful work.

note use and pleasure are contrasted. “the useful with the pleasurable.”


use (n.)
c. 1200, “act of employing,” from Anglo-French and Old French us “custom, practice, usage,” from Latin usus “use, custom, practice, employment, skill, habit,” from past participle stem of uti “make use of, profit by, take advantage of” (see use (v.)).

use (v.)
c. 1200, “employ for a purpose,” from Old French user “employ, make use of, practice, frequent,” from Vulgar Latin *usare “use,” frequentative form of past participle stem of Latin uti “make use of, profit by, take advantage of, enjoy, apply, consume,” in Old Latin oeti “use, employ, exercise, perform,” of uncertain origin. Related: Used; using. Replaced Old English brucan (see brook (v.)). From late 14c. as “take advantage of.”

value (n.)

c.1300, “price equal to the intrinsic worth of a thing;” late 14c., “degree to which something is useful or estimable,” from Old French value “worth, price, moral worth; standing, reuptation” (13c.), noun use of fem. past participle of valoir “be worth,” from Latin valere “be strong, be well; be of value, be worth” (see valiant). The meaning “social principle” is attested from 1918, supposedly borrowed from the language of painting. Value judgment (1889) is a loan-translation of German Werturteil.

Valiant (adj.)

early 14c. (late 12c. in surnames), “brave, courageous, intrepid in danger,” from Anglo-French vaylant, and Old Frenchvaillant “stalwart, brave,” present participle adjective from valoir “be worthy,” originally “be strong,” from Latin valere “be strong, be well, be worth, have power, be able, be in health,” from PIE root *wal- “be strong” (cognates: Old English wealdan”to rule,” Old High German -walt, -wald “power” (in personal names), Old Norse valdr “ruler,” Old Church Slavonic vlasti “to rule over,” Lithuanian valdyti “to have power,” Celtic *walos- “ruler,” Old Irish flaith “dominion,” Welsh gallu “to be able”). As a noun, “valiant person,” from c.1600. Related: Valiantly.


The modern understanding of Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or materialpossessions. This excludes the core meaning as held in the originating old English word weal, which is from an Indo-European word stem.[1] In this larger understanding of wealth, an individual, community, region or country that possesses an abundance of such possessions or resources to the benefit of the common good is known as wealthy.

The modern concept of wealth is of significance in all areas of economics, and clearly so forgrowth economics and development economics yet the meaning of wealth is context-dependent. At the most general level, economists may define wealth as “anything of value” that captures both the subjective nature of the idea and the idea that it is not a fixed or static concept. Various definitions and concepts of wealth have been asserted by various individuals and in different contexts.[2]Defining wealth can be a normative process with various ethical implications, since often wealth maximization is seen as a goal or is thought to be a normative principle of its own.[3][4]

In abstract, property is that which is had by or belongs to/with something, whether as an attribute or a component. For the significant context of this article, property is one or more components (rather than attributes), whether physical or incorporeal, of a person’sestate; or so belonging to, as in being owned by, a person or jointly a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation or even a society. (Given such meaning, the word property is uncountable, and as such, is not described with an indefinite article or as plural.) Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property has the right toconsume, alter, share, redefine, rent, mortgage, pawn, sell, exchange, transfer, give away or destroy it, or to exclude others from doing these things,[1][2][3] as well as perhaps to abandon it; whereas regardless of the nature of the property, the owner thereof has the right to properly use it (as a durable, mean or factor, or whatever), or at the very least exclusively keep it.

Property that jointly belongs to more than one party may be possessed or controlled thereby in very similar or very distinct ways, whether simply or complexly, whether equally or unequally. However, there is an expectation that each party’s will (rather discretion) with regard to the property be clearly defined and unconditional,[citation needed]so as to distinguish ownership and easement from rent. The parties might expect their wills to be unanimous, or alternately every given one of them, when no opportunity for or possibility of dispute with any other of them exists, may expect his, her, its or their own will to be sufficient and absolute.

The Restatement (First) of Property defines Property as any thing, tangible or intangible whereby a legal relationship between persons and the State enforces a possessory interest or legal title in that thing. This mediating relationship between individual, property and state is called as property egimes.[4]

Livestock was the measure of wealth in the ancient world. For a possible parallel sense development in Old English, see fee, and compare, evolving in the other direction, cattle. Compare also Welsh tlws “jewel,” cognate with Irish tlus “cattle,” connected via notion of “valuable thing.”

ECONOMY, ECONOMICS.  longer entry

yconomique, iconomique, oecunomique, French économique, †oeconomique (noun) art or science of household management (c1265 in Old French), person responsible for expenditure in a household (1596 as economic in apparently isolated use), person who understands the art of household management (1553 in the passage translated in quot. 1593 at sense A. 1b), (adjective) relating to domestic or family matters, relating to the management of a household (c1370), which reduces costs or expenses (1794), relating to the management of a state (1803) and its etymon classical Latin oeconomicus (in post-classical Latin also economicus, yconomicus) relating to the orderly arrangement of material by an author, in post-classical Latin also of or relating to (the management of) a household (from a1345 in British sources; but compare classical Latin use as noun as a work title mentioned below), (noun) manager of a household, housekeeper, steward (probably from 7th cent. (in an 11th-cent. copy) in British sources), also (as either feminine singular or neuter plural noun, economica) economics, art of managing a household (from 1241 in British sources) < ancient Greek οἰκονομικός practised in the management of a household or family, thrifty, frugal, economical, in Hellenistic Greek also relating to the orderly arrangement of material by an author < οἰκονόμος (see economyn.) + -ικός -ic suffix. Compare Spanish económico (15th cent.), Italian economico (1550). With use as adjective compare earlier economical adj. With use as noun compare also classical Latin oeconomicus, title of a (Greek) treatise by Xenophon on household management, ancient Greek ἡ οἰκονομική (feminine, short for ἡ οἰκονομικὴ τέχνη) domestic economy, husbandry, ὁ οἰκονομικός (masculine), title of a treatise by Xenophon on household management, τὰ οἰκονομικά (neuter plural), title of a treatise ascribed to Aristotle on public finance.

Compare also Middle French, French ←conome oeconomus n., also as adjective: (of a person) mindful or careful of expense, moderate in expenditure (1690; 1810 in figurative use).

The pronunciation with short initial vowel was probably the original one in English, the pronunciation with long initial vowel (which is found from the early modern period onwards) being due to the influence of the contemporary pronunciation of Latin words with oe : compare E. J. Dobson Eng. Pronunc. 1500–1700 (ed. 2, 1968) II. §23.

With sense A. 1b compare earlier, apparently isolated, icononucar (probably < post-classical Latin yconomicus + -er suffix1):

1523 J. Skelton Goodly Garlande of Laurell sig. Bi, Esiodus the I cononucar And homerus the fresshe historiar.

a. The art or science of household management, esp. with regard to the proper organization of domestic resources; domestic economy, housekeeping. Cf. economics n. 1. Obs.\

▸a1393 Gower Confessio Amantis (Fairf.) vii. 1670 That other point which to Practique Belongeth is Iconomique.

1481 tr. Cicero De Senectute sig. f5, The book of Economike, wherin [Xenophon]..declareth how the man ought to gouerne kepe & approwe his owne propre londys and goodys.

1623 C. Butler Feminine Monarchie (rev. ed.) v. sig. K4, As well in Musick as Oeconomick, there must sometime be Discords.

1656 T. Stanley Hist. Philos. iii. xvii. 156 Arts they did not expell out of more than they would drive Oeconomick out of Houses.

b. Someone who understands the art of household management. Obs. rare.

1593 A. Munday tr. C. Estienne Paradoxes against Common Opinion 26 If those Philosophers or Oeconomikes [Fr. economicques] of times past [sc.Aristotle and Xenophon], were at this daie present to see, how these huswiues gouerne and content each one:..they might learne of them new preceptes & instructions.

1656 J. Trapp Comm. Eph. i. 10 God is the best economic; his house is exactly ordered for matter of good husbandry.

2. Church Hist. [after Italian economo (a1580; 1619 in the passages translated in quots. 16201, 16202) < post-classical Latin œconomus oeconomus n.] An administrator of the revenues of a vacant benefice. Obs.

1620 N. Brent tr. P. Sarpi Hist. Councel of Trent vii. 654 There beeing a suit for a benefice, an Economique [It. vn Economo] may bee created.

1620 N. Brent tr. P. Sarpi Hist. Councel of Trent viii. 788 The Episcopall Sea being voide, the Chapter shall elect one or two Economickes [It. vno, ￲ pi Economi].

†a. Of or relating to household management, or to the ordering of private affairs; domestic. Cf. economical adj. 1a. Obs.

1599 J. Davies Nosce Teipsum 40 Doth employ her œconomicke Art..her houshold to preserue.

1603 J. Florio tr. Montaigne Ess. i. xxxiv. 111 In this Oeconomicke or housholde order.

1627 M. Drayton Elegies in Battaile Agincovrt 211 A man..of naturall goodnesse..whose courses..serue me for Oeconomike booke.

1650 J. Row Hist. Kirk Scotl. (1842) 193 Imploying them in oeconomick & naturall morall duties.

1669 T. Gale Court of Gentiles: Pt. I iii. i. 17 Oeconomic Poesie..also..Politic Poesie..had their Original from Moses’s Oeconomics, and Politics.

1704 Reply to Let. Aug. 15 35 in H. Layton Arguments & Replies, Laws Oeconomick, being those of the Master and his Family.

1748 R. Shiells Marriage 34 Go learn the comely œconomic Arts, and treasure in your Souls her Precepts sweet.

1791 W. Cowper tr. Homer Odyssey in Iliad & Odyssey II. xix. 408 That I in wisdom œconomic aught Pass other women.

b. Of or relating to the management of domestic or private income and expenditure; relating to (personal) monetary considerations, financial. Cf. economical adj. 1b.

1834 T. Carlyle Sartor Resartus ii. iv. 45/2 Landlords’ Bills, and other economic Documents.

1851 T. Carlyle Life J. Sterling i. ix. 82 His outlooks into the future, whether for his spiritual or economic fortunes, were confused.

1907 Publ. Mod. Lang. Assoc. Amer. 22 110 His theory was..definitely related to the literary occupations to which, thro the pressure of economic circumstances, he was forced to surrender himself.

1926 E. Paul & C. Paul tr. Marx Eighteenth Brumaire of L. Bonaparte vii. 133 In so far as millions of families live in economic circumstances which distinguish their mode of life, their interests, and their culture, from those of other classes, and make them hostile to other classes, these peasant families form a class.

1969 D. R. Cressey Theft of Nation x. 233 It took five years and a considerable number of ‘sit-downs’ for him to regain his economic status

1984 A. Oakley Taking it like Woman (1985) 71, I disliked my economic dependence and its connotation of secondariness, of belonging to someone else and not to myself (and we did need more money).

1995 Briarpatch Mar. 8/2 Women in dire economic circumstances in Saskatchewan still have a choice between social assistance and the low-waged job.

a. Theol. Of or relating to the method of divine government of the world (esp. of mankind) (see economy n. 5a); spec. relating to or following a dispensation or method of divine government suited to the needs of a particular nation or period of time (cf. economy n. 5b). Cf. economical adj. 2a.

1655 S. Rutherford Covenant of Life Opened ii. xii. 364 Christs rendering of the Kingdome dispensatory or Oeconomick to the Father may well be a rendering of an account of his subjects.

1761 J. Stonhouse Universal Restitution 46 Damnation is œconomic and salutary.

1845 G. S. Faber Eight Diss. I. i. iii. 31 Jacob gives to this agent his..economic title of The Angel.

1911 H. B. Workman Christian Thought to Reformation iv. 105 With Tertullian the Trinity, an economic not immanent necessity, ‘is our name for God in movement or self-manifestation’.

1974 J. Pelikan Christian Tradition iv. 194 Other economic terms, such as the ‘pouring out’ or the ‘conferring’ of the Holy Spirit, were said to be applied to the Son in the New Testament because the Holy Spirit proceeded from both Father and Son.

2005 T. L. Inbody Faith of Christian Church 104 The economic doctrine of the Trinity, or the ‘Trinity of manifestation’, however is not merely a statement about our experience.

†b. Relating to the proper government or organization of a community or other body. Obs.

a1734 R. North Examen (1740) iii. 158 There is added, in the printed Narrative, an œconomic Scheme of the whole Contrivance, by Way of Synopsis.

1768 Ann. Reg. 1767 185 Making use of that supreme, oeconomic authority which the almighty has lodged in my hands for the protection of my subjects.

?1791 W. Kendall tr. G. Filangieri Science of Legislation xvi. 198 The most inconsiderable variation in these circumstances may produce an astonishing diversity in the interests of nations: whole systems of economic legislation must consequently differ.

a. Esp. of a person: characterized by thrift (sometimes, parsimony); careful in the management of financial resources; saving, sparing; = economical adj. 3. Also in extended use. Now somewhat rare

1755 H. Walpole Mem. George II II. 96 We should be economic.

1763 Let. Earl Halifax on Peace 25 Some men..think, that there is as much reason to be just and œconomic in the distribution and management of public finances as of private patrimony.

1793 Assoc. Preserving Liberty against Republicans i. 11 The Taxes are..only for the support of a very œconomic Government.

1801 M. Edgeworth Belinda I. vi. 183, I never saw any economic of her smiles.

1821 S. T. Coleridge Coll. Lett. (1971) V. 140 Day after day I see them so generous, so high-hearted, & yet so industrious, self-denying, and economic.

1861 Times 23 Oct. 7/6 He disgusted the economic members of the House by reading the sums paid to Parliamentary agents.

1903 Times 7 Nov. 14/5 They [sc. the Germans] are a thrifty, economic people.

b. Characterized by or tending to economy in the use of resources; efficient, not wasteful. Cf. economical adj. 3 and uneconomic adj. at un- prefix1 7a.

1794 Mrs Fulhame Ess. Combustion ii. 56 A small glass tube..I found useful, and economic, especially in experiments on gold… A great number of experiments can be made on a single grain.

1807 T. Young Course Lect. Nat. Philos. I. xxvi. 315 The peculiar circumstances of the case may indicate to an ingenious artist a mode of performing the required work in an effectual and economic manner.

1823 New Eng. Farmer 2 9 The most expeditious, effectual, and economic mode of making a drain would undoubtedly be to use oxen, and a scraper.

1881 Science Nov. 526/1 an economic method which can produce very slow as well as very rapid motion.

Sci. Amer. Suppl. 57 23438/3 (title) Aerial tramways as an economic means of transportation.

1946 Nature 10 Aug. 194/1 Radio-frequency heating is not an economic proposition for heating stable liquids.

1978 Jrnl. Royal Soc. Arts 126 657/2 The European A300 B airbus which is proving very economic here.

2006 Daily Tel. (Sydney) (Nexis) (State ed.) 26 June 7 While some [motorists] said they are switching to more economic cars, young drivers said they were delaying buying their own cars because of petrol prices.

c. = economical adj. 5. (See etymological note at economy n.).

1815 J. C. Hobhouse Substance Lett. (1816) I. 11 That species of writing called by Voltaire, the œconomic style, or an expedient falsification of facts.

1851 F. W. Robertson Serm. (1863) 4th Ser. vi. 34 His economic management of Truth. I use this word though it may seem pedantic.

1991 Time Out 13 Mar. 29/2 He enormous ability to be economic with the truth.

d. Business. Commercially advantageous or expedient; (of a business enterprise) repaying (at least) the expenses of operation or use; solvent or profitable.

1899 G. Gunton Trusts & Public xi. 146 Capital as a tool should be secured as cheaply as possible, and used as long as possible, and thrown away as soon as it ceases to be economic.

1943 W. H. Hutt Plan for Reconstruction 122 The production..remains diffused (in many separate plants, in a manner which is no longer economic).

1950 Introd. Aluminium & its Alloys (Aluminium Federation) 23 This process..becomes economic when quantities of the order of 1,000 or more castings are required.

1973 E. F. Schumacher Small is Beautiful I. iii. 46 the criteria of what is ‘economic’ and what is ‘uneconomic’

1988 M. Bradbury Unsent Lett. 70 Being a commercial writer in Britain, he explained, was simply not economic.

1999 Independent 8 July i. 9/8 A report sponsored by the trusts and the that in parts of England it is simply not economic to hold back the sea with concrete sea walls.

a. Of, relating to, or concerned with the science of economics or with the economy in general (economics n. 2, economy n. 11); relating to the development and regulation of the material resources of a community or state. Cf. economical adj. 4a, politico-economic adj., and socio-economic adj.European Economic Community: see European adj. 5b.

1815 Times 13 Jan. 3/5 In consequence of the tranquil state of India, and the general economic system, the military establishment has been..much reduced.

1835 I. Taylor Spiritual Despotism ii. 70 The economic experiment.

1863 H. Fawcett Man. Polit. Econ. i. iv. 35 Principles which will enable us to investigate economic problems.

1865 J. G. Bertram (title) The harvest of the sea. A contribution to the natural and economic history of the British food fishes.

1883 Manch. Examiner 22 Nov. 5/3 M. of the ablest writers on economic subjects.

1901 Speaker 20 July 450/1 Academism is all very well, too often muffles the hammer of criticism, which ought to hit the nails of economic theory hard and on the head.

1927 C. A. Beard & M. R. Beard Rise Amer. Civilization I. xii. 565 Webster did not overlook mundane considerations — the economic and political substance of the pending issue, the sale of those annoying western lands.

1943 Amer. Hist. Rev. 48 853 No suggestion of social problems, economic policy, or scientific ferment appears.

1962 H. G. Johnson Canada in Changing World Econ. 49 The presence of government as a taxer and spender and as a major debtor tends by itself to reduce the rate of economic growth below the socially optimal rate.

1976 F. Zweig New Acquisitive Society i. v. 57 The rapidly growing ‘pressure group’ movement..definitely leads to politicization of economic life.

2006 D. Winner Those Feet 113 How should British decline be defined and measured? Could it have been reversed? Is it relative economic failure that bothers us?

b. Of a subject or discipline: studied from a practical, material, commercial, or utilitarian standpoint, as economic botany, economic geography, etc. Cf. economical adj. 4c.

1839 H. T. De la Beche Rep. Geol. Cornwall 461 (heading) Economic geology, under the Department for Woods and Public Works.

1853 T. C. Archer (title) Popular Economic Botany; or, Description of the botanical and commercial characters of the principal articles of vegetable origin, used for food, clothing, tanning, dyeing, building, medicine, perfumery, etc.

1861 Jrnl. Soc. Arts 22 Mar. 295 (heading) The Economic History of Paraffine.

1873 Amer. Naturalist 7 544 A description of it will not be out of place in a report on economic entomology, as some members of the group to which it belongs are known to be destructive.

1914 J. McFarlane Econ. Geogr. 1 Economic Geography may be defined as the study of the influence exerted upon the economic activities of man by his physical environment.

1959 N.Z. Timber Jrnl. Apr. 52/2 Economic directed mainly towards marketing and utilization of forest products.

1994 Denver Post 8 Feb. c4/2 A two-year contract with the Bureau of Economic Geology..for petrophysical analysis for two gas fields.

2004 Univ. Oxf. Bot. Garden News Summer 3/1 Exploitation saw botanic gardens and economic botany as central to the manipulation of the rest of the world by the Great Nations of Europe.

c. Relating to the generation of income; maintained for the sake of profit; = economical adj. 4b. rare.

1854 C. D. Badham Prose Halieutics 36 The advantages to be derived from economic fish-ponds.

1947 D. Wyman Arboretums & Bot. Gardens N. Amer. 456 The gardens are extensive and include an annual garden, a perennial garden, an alpine garden, an economic garden.

1993 Jrnl. Biogeography 20 506/1 Approximately one per cent of the forested land is used for protection and economic forests, Juglans (walnuts), Zanthoxylon (Chinese prickly ash), Vernicia fordii (tung oil) and fruit trees.

economic and monetary union n. (the implementation of) a single market, monetary policy, and currency shared by a number of nations or states (now esp. in the European Union); cf. EMU n. at E n.1Additions b.

1922 N.Y. Times 28 Aug. 18/4 The..expected, but almost impossible, request for economic and monetary union between the two countries.

1946 Lethbridge (Alberta) Herald 2 Oct. 1/2 He submitted a Yugoslav proposal providing for economic and monetary union between the Free State and Yugoslavia.

1969 Times 3 Dec. 5/7 The heads of state or government..agreed that..a plan in stages should be worked out during 1970 with a view to the creation of an economic and monetary union.

1993 Guardian 29 Oct. i. 1/5 He said their continuing support for the Maastricht programme for economic and monetary union was like recitation of a mantra.

2003 O. Abegunrin Nigerian Foreign Policy under Mil. Rule iv. ix. 147 The francophone countries were more actively involved in the affairs of a parallel economic union, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UMEOA).

economic adviser n. a person who advises (a government, etc.) on economic policy.

1907 Washington Post 2 Oct. 6/7 R. C. Whitenack, economic adviser to the state of Baroda.

2003 Los Angeles Times (Nexis) 14 Aug. 9 ‘I firmly believe that what we have done was the absolute right course of action,’..Bush told reporters after meeting with his top economic advisors.

economic blizzard n. a severe recession or slump in an economy.

1930 Times 26 May 9/3 A very grim thing had happened: the Socialist Government had run straight into the worst economic blizzard on record in time of peace.

2003 J. Gillingham European Integration, 1950–2003 xiii. 363 Nokia has withstood the economic blizzard of the past two years.

economic citizenship n. (a) the right or ability to participate fully in a country’s economic life; (b) citizenship awarded on the basis of a person’s (usually substantial) financial investment in a country.

1906 Fort Wayne (Indiana) Jrnl.-Gaz. 13 May 16/6 Freemasonry..has already done more in the way of educating men for just economic citizenship than any other institution.

1989 Washington Post (Nexis) 9 Oct. e1 A public desire to stop selling Belizean passports to foreigners under an ‘economic citizenship’ program.

1997 A. Barnett This Time iii. 97 The original theorists of the Welfare State developed a concept of economic citizenship — meaning that there should be full employment and freedom from primary want underwritten by the State.

2000 P. Lilley Dirty Dealing 189 Economic citizenship is available (in other words buying a new passport).

economic climate n. see climate n.1 2b.

economic crime n. (a) a grave mistake or act of negligence in the management of an economy; a financial or economic outrage; (b) crime of a financial nature, esp. involving fraudulent activity; an instance of this.

1868 F. R. Lee & D. Burns Temperance Bible Comm. iii. 4 Could it be shown that alcohol, when imbibed, is neutral as to any sensible effect, its manufacture at the expense of the staff of life would be a vast economic crime.

1916 H. P. Horton tr. W. A. Bonger Criminality & Econ. Conditions ii. ii. ii. 590 While the opportunity to commit violent economic crimes successfully was dminishing, there was a constantly increasing opportunity to commit other economic crimes, such as theft, embezzlement, and fraud.

1951 Denton (Maryland) Jrnl. 6 Apr. 2/1 The government has steadily evaded taking the only actions which can block inflation… That is an economic crime against a misled people.

2005 K. C. Wong & G. Wong in R. Broadhurst & P. Grabosky Cyber Crime iii. 61 Committing economic crime via the Internet, for example theft, blackmail and illegal pyramid sales activity.

economic good n. a commodity or service which is sufficiently scarce in relation to demand to command a price.

1878 J. J. Lalor tr. W. Roscher Princ. Polit. Econ. I. ii. 55 As a rule, with an advance in civilization, there is an increase in the number of goods, which become economic goods.

1979 N.Y. Times Mag. 9 Sept. 16/1 Rationing by price, a system in which economic goods go to the people who are most willing to pay for them.

2000 Q. Jrnl. Econ. 115 138 Health care is an economic good, that is, a scarce resource that cannot be provided to everyone

economic growth n. the increase in the production of goods and services per head of population over a stated period of time; the rate of expansion of the national income; cf. growth n.1 1c.

1875 Times 29 Dec. 3/6 A firm spirit, but the strictest caution, is still our duty until we have the most incontrovertible evidence that the nation has..resumed its full course of economic growth.

1916 Amer. Hist. Rev. 22 157 Economic growth and social progress are inextricably bound up together.

1940 C. G. Clark Condit. Econ. Progress x. 337 (heading) The morphology of economic growth.

1948 Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 92 229/2 The economic growth of the United States can thus be defined.

1953 J. Viner Internat. Trade & Econ. Devel. vi. 103 It is not necessary to look for other explain pervasive poverty and slow economic growth.

1965 Times 17 Feb. 19/6 Economic growth is no longer regarded as the cure-all for the nation’s ills.

1985 J. Chr←tien Straight from Heart (1986) v. 102 It was an economic requirement at that time to stimulate consumer demand as a means of maintaining economic growth.

2006 N.Y. Rev. Bks. 27 Apr. 21/3 He distinguishes two kinds of economic growth — the ‘Smithian’ variety that reflects Adam Smith’s vision in The Wealth of Nations..and a ‘Schumpeterian’ variety that is driven by continuous technological innovation.

economic indicator n. a statistic used to gauge or predict economic performance.

1903 Jrnl. Polit. Econ. 11 490 A trade balance is an economic indicator.

1951 Times 25 May 10/2 A year ago most economic indicators in Scotland pointed to a slowing down in the heavy industries which are the mainstay of our economy.

2004 R. F. Betts Hist. Pop. Culture 4 Sale of consumer goods has become the main national economic indicator.

economic man n. Econ. a hypothetical person who manages his or her private income and expenditure strictly and consistently in accordance with his or her material interests, with no regard to the welfare of others; cf. economical man n. at economical adj. Special uses.

1884 Jrnl. Statist. Soc. London 47 164 Starting higher up from the abstract definition of the economic man we reason down to the fact as well as the unity of price.

1889 G. B. Shaw Fabian Ess. Socialism 25 There is no such person as the celebrated ‘economic man’.

1890 A. Marshall Princ. Econ. I. vi. 78 When the older economists spoke of the ‘economic man’ as governed by selfish, or self-regarding motives, they did not express their meaning exactly.

1929 A. Huxley Do what you Will 217 Historical materialists, who deal..with abstract ‘Economic Men’.

1965 A. Seldon & F. G. Pennance Everyman’s Dict. Econ. 138 Economic Man, concerned with the immediate aim of obtaining the largest possible command over resources with the minimum of sacrifice.

1991 Struct. Change & Econ. Dynamics 2 208 In most theories, the notion of economic man really does form the starting point for all deductions.

economic migrant n. a person who migrates, esp. to another country, in search of employment or economic opportunity.

1933 Relief for Unemployed Transients (U.S. Senate Comm. on Manuf.) 103 The men in the bonus expeditionary forces and their families camping in Pennsylvania are of a higher type than the average economic migrant.

2004 H. Kennedy Just Law (2005) ix. 205 The new measure will hit authentic asylum seekers as well as economic migrants.

economic model n. (a) a pattern or exemplar for economic development; (b) a mathematical model used to analyse or make predictions about economic phenomena (cf. econometrics n.).

1879 Galveston (Texas) Daily News 2 Jan. 1/7 The socialists of the present day aim at using the state to transform the entire community after a prescribed economic model.

1941 Jrnl. Polit. Econ. 49 618 An economic model..should take into account all the important factors and economic variables influencing business cycles.

1982 Financial Times (Nexis) 10 May 14 President Brezhnev himself has pointed to Hungary as an economic model from which the rest of Comecon should learn.

2005 A. Rodr■guez-Pose & J. S£nchez-Reaza in R. Kanbur & A. J. Venables Spatial Inequality & Devel. x. 252 A new economic model of regional growth in Mexico. As evidenced by model 5..three variables alone explain more than 40 per cent of the variance in regional growth.

economic modeller n. an analyst who constructs and employs economic models.

1977 Econometrica 45 623 Decision analysts and economic modellers.

2006 Canberra Times (Nexis) 18 Nov. b4 An internationally recognised economic modeller..has calculated that if Australia..introduced carbon trading it would cut the value of our national income over the next 50 years by a mere 0.16 per cent.

economic modelling n. the construction and analysis of economic models.

1958 Econometrica 26 179 Hopefully, the techniques of modelling used here may provide stimulus for new approaches to economic modelling.

2004 F. Ackerman & A. Nadal in F. Ackerman et al. Flawed Found. Gen. Equilibrium Theory 4 For economic modeling, the butterfly effect means that small errors in data..could utterly change the predicted results.

Work; I am adding this from The Guardian. Long but worth while. What I don’t have et is the origin of job in one thing.


The origins of words for ‘work’ suggest coercion rather than the salvation promised by politicians
Mon 14 Jan 2013 16.30 EST First published on Mon 14 Jan 2013 16.30 EST
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In the modern experience, poverty is closely associated with unemployment or the absence of work. Since the earliest poor laws, work has been advocated as the remedy for poverty. Politicians repeatedly tell us that “work must pay” and that, like the good woman in the Book of Proverbs, none should eat “the bread of idleness”. Setting the poor to labour has been seen as the surest guarantor of combating poverty; and the Christian era has been dominated by the idea of a fair reward for an honest day’s work. The labourer is worthy of his hire.


But work has not always been a way out of poverty. For it is also axiomatic that it is the lot of humankind to labour, and not necessarily in the hope of achieving more than a bare subsistence. The etymology of all the words for “work” in European languages suggests work as coercion, certainly not for the prosperity of the worker, but as a fulfilment of human destiny. Ecclesiastes 3:22 declares: “There is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion.” Words indicating labour in most European languages originate in an imagery of compulsion, torment, affliction and persecution. The French word travail (and Spanish trabajo), like its English equivalent, are derived from the Latin trepaliare – to torture, to inflict suffering or agony. The word peine, meaning penalty or punishment, also is used to signify arduous labour, something accomplished with great effort. The German Arbeit suggests effort, hardship and suffering; it is cognate with the Slavonic rabota (from which English derives “robot”), a word meaning corvee, forced or serf labour. In romance languages, words from the Latin laborare have come to mean ploughing or tilling the earth, although in Italian, lavoro also means work in general. The Latin meaning was anything accomplished with difficulty and struggle.


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The English “work” has an Indo-European stem werg-, via Greek ergon, meaning deed or action without punitive connotations; and Latin urgere, to press, bear down upon or compel. It is cognate with Gothic wrikan, to persecute, and Old English wrecan. Thus, in the word “work”, violence is latent, and it appears in the form wreak, when we speak of wreaking havoc or vengeance. “Toil” derives from Old French, meaning argument or dispute, fight and struggle.

Work was compulsion and punishment, an existential affliction which promised neither wellbeing nor even an assured sustenance. Traces of this more ancient lineage are present in many Biblical references. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,” declares the Book of Genesis; while another axiom much favoured by the taskmasters of the poor is from 2 Thessalonians 3:10: “This we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” The Book of Proverbs is particularly rich in evoking the perils of idleness and sloth. “Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks.” “Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty”; “Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him”; “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep and an idle person will suffer hunger.”


Ancient ideas, especially those buried in the unvisited burial sites of words, have a tenacious afterlife. Edmund Burke in the 18th century took exception to what he regarded as the cant phrase of “the labouring poor”, because it suggested resistance to their fate by those who were born to work, however pitiful their reward. Work as the destiny of those who have no wealth but their labour retains its hold on the imagination of political nostalgics of all colours. If work is now offered as a form of secular salvation by contemporary politicians, its redemptive power was acquired slowly and over a long time-span, as the holy poor journeyed on their long descent from closeness to God to a condition of forlorn dispossession.

We should look carefully at the remedies proposed for an end to poverty by a punitive coalition, which announces reductions in assistance, not merely to those it sees as the refuseniks of labour, but also to the six million or so people working in Britain whose efforts fail to procure them a living wage. Despite the spectacular riches of modernity, the ancient function of work – as destiny of a fallen humanity – rather than as a means of overcoming poverty, shows itself through the threadbare ideological clothing of a government which draws inspiration for its “reforms” from the tenets of the 1834 reform of the Poor Laws. That, despite all the cuts, governments must nevertheless still supplement inadequate wages, allot allowances, eke out with a grudging dole the daily toil of so many people, suggests that work, far from representing relief from poverty, is rather a confirmation of an older interpretation of life, that humanity is destined to “eat the bread of anxious toil”. Words sometimes tell truths which the increasingly empty discourse of politics prefers to keep hidden.