Etymology
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Words related to astonish

ex- 

word-forming element, in English meaning usually "out of, from," but also "upwards, completely, deprive of, without," and "former;" from Latin ex "out of, from within; from which time, since; according to; in regard to," from PIE *eghs "out" (source also of Gaulish ex-, Old Irish ess-, Old Church Slavonic izu, Russian iz). In some cases also from Greek cognate ex, ek. PIE *eghs had comparative form *eks-tero and superlative *eks-t(e)r-emo-. Often reduced to e- before -b-, -d-, -g-, consonantal -i-, -l-, -m-, -n-, -v- (as in elude, emerge, evaporate, etc.).

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thunder (n.)

mid-13c., from Old English þunor "thunder, thunderclap; the god Thor," from Proto-Germanic *thunraz (source also of Old Norse þorr, Old Frisian thuner, Middle Dutch donre, Dutch donder, Old High German donar, German Donner "thunder"), from PIE *(s)tene- "to resound, thunder" (source also of Sanskrit tanayitnuh "thundering," Persian tundar "thunder," Latin tonare "to thunder"). Swedish tordön is literally "Thor's din." The unetymological -d- also is found in Dutch and Icelandic versions of the word (compare sound (n.1)). Thunder-stick, imagined word used by primitive peoples for "gun," attested from 1904.

astonishing (adj.)

"causing wonder or amazement," 1620s, present-participle adjective from astonish. Related: Astonishingly.

admonish (v.)

mid-14c., amonesten "remind, urge, exhort, warn, give warning," from Old French amonester "urge, encourage, warn" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *admonestare, from Latin admonere "bring to mind, remind (of a debt);" also "warn, advise, urge," from ad "to," here probably with frequentative force (see ad-) + monere "to admonish, warn, advise," from PIE *moneie- "to make think of, remind," suffixed (causative) form of root *men- (1) "to think."

The -d- was restored, on the Latin model, in English as in French (Modern French admonester). The ending was influenced by words in -ish (such as astonish, abolish). Related: Admonished; admonishing. Latin also had commonere "to remind," promonere "to warn openly," submonere "to advise privately" (source of summon).

astonishment (n.)

1590s, "state of being amazed or shocked with wonder;" see astonish + -ment. Earlier it meant "paralysis" (1570s).

astound (v.)

mid-15c., from Middle English astouned, astoned (c. 1300), past participle of astonen, astonien "to stun" (see astonish), with more of the original sense of Vulgar Latin *extonare. The unusual form is perhaps because the past participle was so much more common that it came to be taken for the infinitive, or/and by the same pattern which produced round (v.) from round (adj.), or by the intrusion of an unetymological -d as in sound (n.1). Related: Astounded; astounding.

distinguish (v.)

1560s, "recognize as different or distinct from what is contiguous or similar; perceive, make out," from French distinguiss-, stem of distinguer, or directly from Latin distinguere "to separate between, keep separate, mark off, distinguish," perhaps literally "separate by pricking," from assimilated form of dis- "apart" (see dis-) + -stinguere "to prick" (compare extinguish and Latin instinguere "to incite, impel").

Watkins says "semantic transmission obscure;" the sense might be from "pricking out" as the old way to make punctuation in parchment or some literal image, but de Vaan derives the second element from a different PIE root meaning "to push, thrust":

The meanings of ex- and restinguere 'to extinguish' and distinguere seem quite distinct, but can be understood if the root meant 'to press' or 'push': ex-stinguere 'to put a fire out', re-stinguere 'to push back, suppress', and dis-stinguere 'to push apart [thence] distinguish, mark off ....

The suffix -ish is due to the influence of many verbs in which it is the equivalent of Old French -iss-, ultimately from Latin inchoative suffix -iscere (this is also the case in extinguish, admonish, and astonish).

Sense of "to mark or note in a way to indicate difference" is from 1570s; that of "separate from others by some mark of honor or preferment" is from c. 1600. Intransitive meaning "make a distinction, find or show difference (between)" is from 1610s. Related: Distinguishing. The Middle English form of the verb was distinguen (mid-14c.).

stun (v.)

early 14c., "to daze or render unconscious" (from a blow, powerful emotion, etc.), probably a shortening of Old French estoner "to stun" (see astonish). Related: Stunned; stunning.