Etymology
Advertisement
whispering (n.)
Old English hwisprung, verbal noun from hwisprian (see whisper (v.)).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
susurrus (n.)

1809, earlier as a medical Latin word in English, from Latin susurrus, literally "a humming, muttering, whispering" (see susurration).

Among the diseases of the ear, one of the most prevalent is the Paracusis imaginaria, to which both sexes are equally liable; and another variety of the same tribe, more frequent among female patients, called the Susurrus criticus, or Scandal-buzz. [The Lounger, Dec. 23, 1786]
Related entries & more 
surd (adj.)
1550s, "irrational" (of numbers), from Latin surdus "deaf, unheard, silent, dull; willfully deaf, inattentive," possibly related to susurrus "a muttering, whispering" (see susurration). The mathematical sense is from the use of Latin surdus to translate Arabic (jadhr) asamm "deaf (root)," itself apparently a loan-translation of Greek alogos, literally "speechless, without reason" (Euclid book x, Def.). In French, sourd remains the principal word for "deaf." As a noun from 1540s. Related: Surdity.
Related entries & more 
susurration (n.)

"a whispering, a murmur," c. 1400, from Latin susurrationem (nominative susurratio), from past participle stem of susurrare "to hum, murmur," from susurrus "a murmur, whisper," a reduplication of the PIE imitative *swer- "to buzz, whisper" (source also of Sanskrit svarati "sounds, resounds," Greek syrinx "flute," Latin surdus "dull, mute," Old Church Slavonic svirati "to whistle," Lithuanian surma "pipe, shawm," German schwirren "to buzz," Old English swearm "a swarm").

Related entries & more 
whisper (v.)
Old English hwisprian "speak very softly, murmur" (only in a Northumbrian gloss for Latin murmurare), from Proto-Germanic *hwis- (source also of Middle Dutch wispelen, Old High German hwispalon, German wispeln, wispern, Old Norse hviskra "to whisper"), from PIE *kwei- "to hiss, whistle," imitative. Transitive sense is from 1560s. Related: Whispered; whispering. An alternative verb, now obsolete, was whister (late 14c., from Old English hwæstrian), and Middle English had whistringe grucchere "a slanderer."
Related entries & more 
Advertisement