November 10, 2013
germane (adjective)
\jer-MAYN\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: having a close relationship : fitting
How do you use it?
Not everything Justin mentioned in his report was germane to his topic of baseball history, but it was interesting anyway.
Are you a word wiz?

Many years ago, people used "germane" in ways that we no longer do. What do you think "germane" was used to describe in the past?

The answer that is germane to today's discussion is B. At one time, people used "germane" to mean "closely related." The term was applied to close relatives, like children of the same parents, or related things like lions and tigers. This is not surprising since "germane" comes from "germain," a word which meant "having the same parents" in Anglo-French (the French language used in medieval England). We can trace "germain" back farther to the Latin word "germanus," which also means "having the same parents."
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