Words related to *kwon-

canaille (n.)

"the rabble, the lowest order of people collectively," 1670s, from French canaille (16c.), from Italian canaglia, literally "a pack of dogs," from cane "dog," from Latin canis (from PIE root *kwon- "dog").

canary (n.)

type of small songbird, 1650s (short for Canary-bird, 1570s), from French canarie, from Spanish canario "canary bird," literally "of the Canary Islands" (where it is indigenous), from Latin Insula Canaria "Canary Island," largest of the Fortunate Isles, literally "island of dogs" (canis, derived adjective canarius, from PIE root *kwon- "dog").

Supposedly so called "from its multitude of dogs of a huge size" (Pliny), but perhaps this is folk-etymology, and the name might instead be that of the Canarii, a Berber people who lived near the coast of Morocco opposite the island and might have settled on it. The name was extended to the whole island group (Canariæ Insulæ) by the time of Arnobius (c. 300). As a type of wine (from the Canary Islands) from 1580s.

[Recent DNA analysis (2019) of ancient remains on the island suggest the indigenous people were of typical North African lineages as well as Mediterranean and sub-Saharan African groups and may have arrived by c. 100 C.E.]

canicular (adj.)

late 14c., in caniculer dayes, the "dog days" around mid-August, from Latin canicularis "pertaining to the dog days or the Dog Star (Sirius)," from canicula "little dog," also "the Dog Star," diminutive of canis "a dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog"). Historically, it is attested in literal use ("pertaining to a dog") only in jocular humor.

Also see Sirius, and compare heliacal. The ancient Egyptian canicular year was computed from the heliacal rising of Sirius; the canicular cycle of 1,461 years is how long it would take a given day to pass through all seasons in an uncorrected calendar.

canid (n.)

"a carnivorous mammal of the Canidae family" (dogs, wolves, foxes, jackals), 1879, from Modern Latin Canidae, from Latin canis "dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog") + -idae.

canine (n.)

late 14c., "a pointed tooth," from Latin caninus "of the dog," genitive of canis "dog" (source of Italian cane, French chien), from PIE root *kwon- "dog." The meaning "a dog" is first recorded 1869.

chenille (n.)

"kind of velvety cord used in embroidery, fringes, etc.," 1738, from French chenille, properly "caterpillar," literally "little dog" (13c.), from Latin canicula "a dog" (also "a violent woman; the star Sirius; the worst throw in dice"), diminutive of canis "dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog"). So called for its furry look. Compare caterpillar.

corgi (n.)

"breed of short-legged dog originally bred in Wales for herding cattle," 1921, from Welsh corgi, from cor "dwarf" + ci "dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog").

cynic (n.)

1550s, "one of the ancient sect of philosophy founded by Antisthenes," from Latinized form of Greek kynikos "a follower of Antisthenes," literally "dog-like," from kyōn (genitive kynos) "dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog").

Supposedly the name is a reference to the coarseness of life and sneering surliness of the philosophers, and the popular association even in ancient times was "dog-like" (Lucian has kyniskos "a little cynic," literally "puppy").

But more likely it is from Kynosarge "The Gray Dog," the name of the gymnasium outside ancient Athens (for the use of those who were not pure Athenians) where Antisthenes (a pupil of Socrates), taught. Diogenes was the most famous. Meaning "sneering sarcastic person" is from 1590s. As an adjective from 1630s.

[Diogenes] studied philosophy under Antisthenes, a crusty type who hated students, emphasized self-knowledge, discipline, and restraint, and held forth at a gymnasium named The Silver Hound in the old garden district outside the city. It was open to foreigners and the lower classes, and thus to Diogenes. Wits of the time made a joke of its name, calling its members stray dogs, hence cynic (doglike), a label that Diogenes made into literal fact, living with a pack of stray dogs, homeless except for a tub in which he slept. He was the Athenian Thoreau. [Guy Davenport, "Seven Greeks"]
cynical (adj.)

1580s, with a capital -c-, "resembling Cynic philosophers," from cynic + -al (1). By 1660s (with a lower-case -c-) the meaning had shaded into the general one of "disposed to disbelieve or doubt the sincerity or value of social usages or personal character or motives and to express it by sarcasm and sneers, disparaging of the motives of others, captious, peevish." Related: Cynically.

Cynical expresses a perverse disposition to put an unfavorable interpretation upon conduct, or to exercise austerity under profession of a belief in the worthlessness of any offered form of enjoyment. Misanthropic expresses a hatred of mankind as a race. Pessimistic is primarily and generally a philosophical epithet, applying to those who hold that the tendency of things is only or on the whole toward evil. [Century Dictionary]
cynosure (n.)

"something that strongly attracts attention," 1590s, from French cynosure (16c.), from Latin Cynosura, literally "dog's tail," an old name of the constellation (now Ursa Minor) containing what is now (but was not in ancient times) the North Star, the focus of navigation, at the tip of its tail; from Greek kynosoura, literally "dog's tail," from kyōn (genitive kynos; from PIE root *kwon- "dog") + oura "tail" (see arse). Apparently in ancient times the whole constellation was used as a rough indicator of the celestial north pole. Related: Cynosural.