Etymology
Advertisement
prevarication (n.)

late 14c., prevaricacioun, "divergence from a right course, transgression, violation of a law or commandment" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French prevaricacion "breaking of God's laws, disobedience (to the Faith)" (12c., Modern French prévarication) and directly from Latin praevaricationem (nominative praevaricatio) "duplicity, collusion, a stepping out of line (of duty or behavior)," noun of action from past-participle stem of praevaricari "to make a sham accusation, deviate," literally "walk crookedly," in Church Latin, "to transgress."

This Latin word is from prae "before" (see pre-) + varicare "to straddle," from varicus "straddling," from varus "bowlegged, knock-kneed" (see varus). The main modern meaning "evasion, quibbling, act of deviating from truth, honesty, or plain dealing" is attested from 1650s.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
delict (n.)

"a transgression or offense," in civil law, a misdemeanor, 1520s, from Latin delictum "fault, offense, crime," neuter singular of past participle of delinquere "to fail; be wanting, fall short; offend," from de- "completely" (see de-) + linquere "to leave" (from PIE root *leikw- "to leave"). Related: Delictable "criminal, wicked," early 15c. Phrase in flagrant delict translates Latin in flagrante delicto.

Delicts are commonly understood as slighter offenses which do not immediately affect the public peace, but which imply an obligation on the part of the offender to make an atonement to the public by suffering punishment, and also to make reparation for the injury committed The term delinquency has the same signification. [Century Dictionary]
Related entries & more 
corpus delicti 

1832, Latin, literally "body of the offense;" not "the murder victim's body," but the basic elements that make up a crime, which in the case of a murder includes the body of the victim. For first element, see corpus. With delictum "a fault, offense, crime, transgression," etymologically "a falling short" of the standard of law, neuter singular of past participle of delinquere "to fail; be wanting, fall short; offend" (see delinquent).

Thus, a man who is proved to have clandestinely buried a dead body, no matter how suspicious the circumstances, cannot thereby be convicted of murder, without proof of the corpus delicti--that is, the fact that death was feloniously produced by him. [Century Dictionary]
Related entries & more 
error (n.)

also, through 18c., errour; c. 1300, "a deviation from truth made through ignorance or inadvertence, a mistake," also "offense against morality or justice; transgression, wrong-doing, sin;" from Old French error "mistake, flaw, defect, heresy," from Latin errorem (nominative error) "a wandering, straying, a going astray; meandering; doubt, uncertainty;" also "a figurative going astray, mistake," from errare "to wander; to err" (see err). From early 14c. as "state of believing or practicing what is false or heretical; false opinion or belief, heresy." From late 14c. as "deviation from what is normal; abnormality, aberration." From 1726 as "difference between observed value and true value."

Words for "error" in most Indo-European languages originally meant "wander, go astray" (for example Greek plane in the New Testament, Old Norse villa, Lithuanian klaida, Sanskrit bhrama-), but Irish has dearmad "error," from dermat "a forgetting."

Related entries & more 
sin (n.)

Middle English sinne, from Old English synn, syn "violation of divine law, offense against God; moral wrongdoing," also "injury, mischief; enmity, feud; guilt, crime, misdeed," from Proto-Germanic *sundiō "sin" (source also of Old Saxon sundia, Old Frisian sende, Middle Dutch sonde, Dutch zonde, German Sünde "sin, transgression, trespass, offense," extended forms).

The notion is probably ultimately "it is true," i.e. "the sin is real" (compare Gothic sonjis, Old Norse sannr "true"), from PIE *snt-ya-, a collective form from *es-ont- "becoming," present participle of the root *es- "to be."

The semantic development would be via the notion of "to be truly the one (who is guilty)," as in Old Norse phrase verð sannr at "be found guilty of," and the use of the phrase "it is being" in Hittite confessional formula. The same process probably yielded the Latin word sons (genitive sontis) "guilty, criminal" from present participle of sum, esse "to be, that which is." Some etymologists believe the Germanic word was an early borrowing directly from the Latin genitive. Also see sooth.

The details of the purely theological definition are much contested. Sin-eater is attested from 1680s, "one who, for pay, takes on the sins of a deceased person," typically by eating certain food in the presence of the corpse. To live in sin "cohabit without marriage" is from 1838; the phrase was used since Middle English in a more general sense (to sin with has been "commit fornication or adultery with" since c. 1200). Ice hockey slang sin bin "penalty box" is attested from 1950.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement

Page 2