anchor (n.)

"device for securing ships to the ground under the water by means of cables," Old English ancor, borrowed 9c. from Latin ancora "an anchor," which is from or cognate with Greek ankyra "an anchor, a hook," from PIE root *ang-/*ank- "to bend" (see angle (n.)).

A very early borrowing into English and said to be the only Latin nautical term used in the Germanic languages (German Anker, Swedish ankar, etc.). The unetymological -ch- emerged late 16c., a pedantic imitation of a corrupt spelling of the Latin word. The figurative sense of "that which gives stability or security" is from late 14c. The meaning "host or presenter of a TV or radio program" is from 1965, short for anchorman (q.v.).

anchor (v.)

"fix or secure in a particular place," c. 1200, perhaps in Old English, from anchor (n.) or from Medieval Latin ancorare. Figurative use from 1580s; in reference to television or radio programs, 1961. Related: Anchored; anchoring.

updated on September 20, 2022