Monday, April 19, 2004

Etymology Today from M-W: companionable \kum-PAN-yuh-nuh-bul\

: marked by, conducive to, or suggestive of companionship : sociable

Someone who is "companionable" is a person who (etymologically at least) is willing to share bread with you. "Companionable" is the adjective form of "companion," which ultimately derives from the combination of the Latin prefix "com-," meaning "with, together," and the noun "panis," meaning "bread, loaf, food." "Companionable" first appeared in print in English in the 14th century ("companion" has been around for at least a century longer). Other descendants of "panis" include "pantry" (a place for storing food), "pannier" (a basket such as might carry food), and "panettone" (a kind of yeast bread). Even "food" itself is derived from the same ancient root that gave rise to "panis" in Latin.
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