Etymology
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primitive (adj.)

late 14c., primitif, "of an original cause; of a thing from which something is derived; not secondary" (a sense now associated with primary), from Old French primitif "very first, original" (14c.) and directly from Latin primitivus "first or earliest of its kind," from primitus "at first," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)).

Meaning "of or belonging to the first age" is from early 15c., especially in a Christian sense of "adhering to the qualities of the early Church." Meaning "having the style of an early or ancient time," especially "characterized by the (supposed) simplicity of the old times," is from 1680s.

In anthropology, of cultures that, through isolation, have remained at a simple level, by 1895. Of untrained modern artists from 1942 (earlier in reference to pre-Renaissance artists; 1847; also of art by "primitive" cultures or prehistoric ages). Related: Primitively.

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primitive (n.)

c. 1400, primitif, of men or livestock, "original ancestor, the first-born," a noun use from Latin primitivus "the first or earliest of its kind," especially "the first-born" (see primitive (adj.)). Meaning "aboriginal person in a land visited by Europeans" is from 1779, hence the sense "uncivilized person."

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primitivism (n.)

"adherence to or practice of that which is primitive," 1846, in reference to Christian churches and sects, from primitive + -ism. Earlier in the sense of "quality, character, or state of being primitive" were primitiveness (1660s), primitivity (1759). Related: Primitivist.

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*per- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root forming prepositions, etc., meaning "forward," and, by extension, "in front of, before, first, chief, toward, near, against," etc.

It forms all or part of: afford; approach; appropriate; approve; approximate; barbican; before; deprive; expropriate; far; first; for; for-; fore; fore-; forefather; foremost; former (adj.); forth; frame; frau; fret; Freya; fro; froward; from; furnish; furniture; further; galore; hysteron-proteron; impervious; improbity; impromptu; improve; palfrey; par (prep.); para- (1) "alongside, beyond; altered; contrary; irregular, abnormal;" paradise; pardon; paramount; paramour; parvenu; pellucid; per; per-; percent; percussion; perennial; perestroika; perfect; perfidy; perform; perfume; perfunctory; perhaps; peri-; perish; perjury; permanent; permeate; permit; pernicious; perpendicular; perpetual; perplex; persecute; persevere; perspective; perspire; persuasion; pertain; peruse; pervade; pervert; pierce; portray; postprandial; prae-; Prakrit; pre-; premier; presbyter; Presbyterian; preterite; pride; priest; primal; primary; primate; primavera; prime; primeval; primitive; primo; primogenitor; primogeniture; primordial; primus; prince; principal; principle; prior; pristine; private; privilege; privy; pro (n.2) "a consideration or argument in favor;" pro-; probably; probe; probity; problem; proceed; proclaim; prodigal; produce; profane; profess; profile; profit; profound; profuse; project; promise; prompt; prone; proof; proper; property; propinquity; prophet; prose; prostate; prosthesis; protagonist; Protean; protect; protein; Proterozoic; protest; proto-; protocol; proton; protoplasm; Protozoa; proud; prove; proverb; provide; provoke; prow; prowess; proximate; Purana; purchase; purdah; reciprocal; rapprochement; reproach; reprove; veneer.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit pari "around, about, through," parah "farther, remote, ulterior," pura "formerly, before," pra- "before, forward, forth;" Avestan pairi- "around," paro "before;" Hittite para "outside of," Greek peri "around, about, near, beyond," pera "across, beyond," paros "before," para "from beside, beyond," pro "before;" Latin pro "before, for, on behalf of, instead of," porro "forward," prae "before," per "through;" Old Church Slavonic pra-dedu "great-grandfather;" Russian pere- "through;" Lithuanian per "through;" Old Irish ire "farther," roar "enough;" Gothic faura "before," Old English fore (prep.) "before, in front of," (adv.) "before, previously," fram "forward, from," feor "to a great distance, long ago;" German vor "before, in front of;" Old Irish air- Gothic fair-, German ver-, Old English fer-, intensive prefixes.

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prototype (n.)

"a primitive form, original, or model after which anything is formed," c. 1600, from French prototype (16c.) and directly from Medieval Latin prototypus "original, primitive," from Greek prōtotypon "a first or primitive form," noun use of neuter singular of prōtotypos "original, primitive," from prōtos "first" (see proto-) + typos "impression, mold, pattern" (see type (n.)). In English from 1590s as prototypon.

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wild man (n.)
c. 1200, "man lacking in self-restraint," from wild (adj.) + man (n.). From mid-13c. as "primitive, savage." Late 14c. as a surname.
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shinny (n.)
also shinney, primitive form of hockey, 1670s, perhaps from Gaelic sinteag "a bound, a leap." OED suggests origin from shin ye "the cry used in the game."
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ur- 
prefix meaning "original, earliest, primitive," from German ur- "out of, original," from Proto-Germanic *uz- "out," from PIE *ud- "up, out" (see out (adv.)) At first only in words borrowed from German (such as ursprache "hypothetical primitive language"); since mid-20c. a living prefix in English. Compare also Urschleim under protoplasm and Urquell under Pilsner.
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bonehead (n.)

"stupid person," 1908, from bone (n.) + head (n.). Compare blockhead, meathead. Bone-headed "ignorant" is from 1903. Earlier it was used in reference to types of primitive spears or harpoons.

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etymon (n.)
"primitive word," 1570s, from Greek etymon, neuter of etymos "true, real, actual" (see etymology). Classical Greek used etymon as an adverb, "truly, really." Related: Etymic.
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