October 27, 2011
- respect (noun)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : relation to or concern with something specified : reference2 a : high or special regard : esteem b plural : expressions of regard or courtesy3 : detail
- How do you use it?
- "I was mad at Alexander for coming into my room without knocking, for stealing my bugs, for having no respect for my privacy." (Pam Zollman, Don't Bug Me!)
- Are you a word wiz?
Which word do you think comes from the same root as "respect"?With all due respect, it's answer C that has it right today. Both "respect" and "species" come from the Latin root "specere" meaning "to look." Members of the "specere" family tend to have something to do with looking. For example, "inspect" ("to examine closely"), "conspicuous" ("easily seen"), and "spectacles" (another word for eyeglasses) are all descendants of "specere." But sometimes, as with "respect" and "species," it takes some looking to find the connection. We can find that connection if we look at their early meanings. When "respect" first entered English in the 14th century it was used to mean "gaze" or "visual attention." And "species" originally meant "appearance" or "outward form."