Post Eagle Newspaper


May 27, 2024

45°F, few clouds
New Jersey

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The word ANNIVERSARY usually elicits memories of things past, marriage being one of the most common in memory. There is a Latin verb – VERTO, VERTERE, VERSUS – meaning TO TURN, which is the root in these following words:

ANNIVERSARY: the turning of the years (annus – year)

TERGIVERSATION: to turn your back (tergum – back)

REVERSE, REVERT, REVERSION: to turn back (re – back, back again)

INVERSE, INVERT: to turn upon, upside down (in – in, on, upon)

SUBVERT, SUBVERSION: to turn under (sub – under)

DIVERT, DIVERSION: to turn away from (de, dis – away, apart)

CONVERSATION, CONVERSE: to turn together (cum – with, together)

UNIVERSE, UNIVERSAL: to turn as one (unus – one)

In ancient Roman times, the father of the prospective bride would offer a dowry to guarantee the marriage of a not too pretty daughter. She would come to her husband’s house with geese, horses, chickens, pigs and other things which secured the husband’s love. She also came with her personal belongings like clothing, makeup, wigs, etc. These personal items were besides the dowry. They were called – PARAPHERNALIA – which came from the Greek words: PARA – BESIDES, and PHERNALIA – DOWRY.