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  • Mysteries of vernacular:

  • Bewilder, to confuse or puzzle completely.

  • The root of the word bewilder

  • can be traced back to the Old English word wilde,

  • which was used to refer to something

  • that was in a natural state,

  • uncultivated,

  • or undomesticated.

  • Over time, the word wild was often linked

  • to the Old English word deor.

  • Deor, which was derived

  • from an early Indo-European root

  • that meant breathe,

  • was initially used to describe

  • any untamed animal or beast.

  • This eventually morphed into the modern word deer,

  • meaning a ruminant of the family Cervidae.

  • The two Old English words,

  • when mashed together,

  • became wilderness,

  • meaning a tract of uncultivated land,

  • primarily inhabited by undomesticated beasts.

  • From the word wilderness,

  • the word wilder was born.

  • To wilder someone was to lead him astray

  • or lure him into the woods.

  • In the 1600's, the prefix be,

  • meaning thoroughly,

  • was compounded with wilder

  • as a way of tacking on a little extra punch.

  • Someone who was bewildered

  • was thoroughly lost in the wild.

  • From this winding background,

  • bewilder eventually evolved into our current definition,

  • to be completely confused.

Mysteries of vernacular:

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B2 TED-Ed wilder english word wilderness meaning root

【TED-Ed】Mysteries of vernacular: Bewilder - Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel

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    Bing-Je posted on 2013/12/13
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