Words related to bachelor
The Medieval Latin word is of uncertain origin; perhaps ultimately from Latin baculum "staff" (see bacillus), which the young student might carry. Or it might be a re-Latinization of bachelor in its academic sense.
In modern U.S. usage, baccalaureate usually is short for baccalaureate sermon (1864), a religious farewell address to a graduating class at an American college, from the adjectival sense "pertaining to the university degree of bachelor."
"unmarried woman," 1896, from bachelor with French ending -ette. Replaced earlier bachelor-girl (1888). The word appears to have been formed in English; Old French had bachelette "young girl" (15c.), also bachelle, bacelette, bachelote; Modern French is said to use bachelière only in the "student" sense.
Jessica. Thanks! Is Mr. Sparrow a bachelor?
Miss Cornelia. He is, and in all probability will remain one.
Jessica. I'm beginning to think there are pleasanter conditions in this world than being a bachelorette.
Miss Cornelia. Where did you ever pick up such a remarkable word? A bachelorette! What in the world is a bachelorette?
Jessica (smiling). You are.
["The Dummy," Alice Yates Grant, 1896]
English agent noun ending, corresponding to Latin -or. In native words it represents Old English -ere (Old Northumbrian also -are) "man who has to do with," from Proto-Germanic *-ari (cognates: German -er, Swedish -are, Danish -ere), from Proto-Germanic *-arjoz. Some believe this root is identical with, and perhaps a borrowing of, Latin -arius (see -ary).
Generally used with native Germanic words. In words of Latin origin, verbs derived from past participle stems of Latin ones (including most verbs in -ate) usually take the Latin ending -or, as do Latin verbs that passed through French (such as governor); but there are many exceptions (eraser, laborer, promoter, deserter; sailor, bachelor), some of which were conformed from Latin to English in late Middle English.
The use of -or and -ee in legal language (such as lessor/lessee) to distinguish actors and recipients of action has given the -or ending a tinge of professionalism, and this makes it useful in doubling words that have a professional and a non-professional sense (such as advisor/adviser, conductor/conducter, incubator/incubater, elevator/elevater).