August 02, 2017
potion (noun)
\POH-shun\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a mixture of liquids (as a medicine or poison)
How do you use it?
"For your information, Potter, asphodel and wormwood make a sleeping potion so powerful it is known as the Draught of Living Death." (J. K. Rowling, _Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone_)
Are you a word wiz?

Which word do you think is from the same word family as "potion"?

The truth is that "potable" (meaning "suitable for drinking") and "potion" both trace to the Latin root "potare" meaning "to drink." Latin speakers used "potare" to form "potio" meaning "drink, potion." Anglo-French speakers adopted "potio" to form "poisun" and "pocioun" and used those words with the same meaning as the Latin. Middle English adopted the Anglo-French "pocioun," which eventually became our "potion." Incidentally, the resemblance between the Anglo-French "poisun" and the English "poison" is not just coincidence. "Poison" shares the same Latin and Anglo-French origins as "potion."
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