When words are this close in spelling, I always find myself wondering if they’re related. And, yeah, occasionally get the spellings confused too. 😉 This morning I was rereading what I wrote over the weekend and saw a time where I was using the verb, demur, but put the E on the end. Which is what sent me to dictionary.com.
The verb demur dates from the 1200s and originally meant “to linger, to tarry.” Its roots came from the Latin demorari, through the Old French demorer, which meant the same thing. Okay…
Demure, on the other hand, is from the French meur, which means “fully grown, ripe” and hence “mature, grave.” Where, then, did the de- come from? Well now, that’s a good question, and etymologists aren’t quite sure. Though they suspect (another case of Isle and Island) that the de- may have been borrowed from demuré, which is the past participle of that Old French demorer. Another case of “they sound the same, so let’s spell them the same”?? Could be!
On a completely unrelated note, it’s release week for me!! Tomorrow I’ll post a blog with all my upcoming blog tour stops and a few highlights and requests. =)
photo credit: Alexander Rentsch via photopin cc