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Word Trail

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This word trail also came about while I was reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. It occurred to me that the word data sounds similar to the word for religion in Hebrew (‘dat’), and I wondered whether they had the same root. And they do!

The word data comes from the root *do- which originally meant ‘to give’ (the word ‘donate’ comes from this root as well). It also has a meaning that is more “offering”, which is linked to religion.

Also, randomly, the word fedora (yes, the hat) comes from the same root, based on a play in which the Russian princess, Fedora, wore the original hat.

I thought that because it’s the same root as the Welsh word ‘dawn’, which means ‘gift’, that perhaps the word dawn in English also came from that (because every day is a gift), but, alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case.


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