Words related to cant


Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to sing."

It forms all or part of: accent; cant (n.1); cantabile; cantata; cantatrice; canticle; canto; cantor; canzone; Carmen; chanson; chant; chanter; chanteuse; chanty; chanticleer; charm; concent; descant; enchant; enchantment; hen; incantation; incentive; oscine; precentor; recant.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek eikanos "cock," literally "bird who sings (for sunrise);" Latin cantare, canere "to sing;" Old Irish caniaid "sings," Welsh canu "sing;" Old English hana "cock."

canting (n.)
1560s, "practice of using thieves' cant," verbal noun from cant (v.1).
canter (n.2)
c. 1600, "professional beggar," agent noun from cant (v.1). From 1650s as "one who talks religious cant."
cantilever (n.)
"projecting block or bracket from a building supporting a molding, balcony, etc.," 1660s, probably from cant (n.2) + lever, but earliest form (c. 1610) was cantlapper. First element also might be Spanish can "dog," architect's term for an end of timber jutting out of a wall, on which beams rested. Related: Cantilevered.
cantle (n.)
early 14c., "a part, a portion," also "a section cut out of anything" (mid-15c.), from Old North French cantel "corner, piece" (Old French chantel, Modern French chanteau), from Medieval Latin cantellus, diminutive of cantus "corner" (see cant (n.2)).
canton (n.)

1530s, "corner, angle," from French canton "angle, corner (of a room); piece, portion of a country" (13c.), from Italian (Lombard dialect) cantone "region," especially in the mountains, augmentative of Latin canto "section of a country," literally "corner" (see cant (n.2)).

From 1570s as a term in heraldry and flag descriptions. From c. 1600 as "a subdivision of a country;" applied to the sovereign states of the Swiss republic from 1610s.

change (v.)

c. 1200, "to alter, make different, change" (transitive); early 13c. as "to substitute one for another;" mid-13c. as "to make (something) other than what it was, cause to turn or pass from one state to another;" from late 13c. as "to become different, be altered" (intransitive), from Old French changier "to change, alter; exchange, switch," from Late Latin cambiare "to barter, exchange," extended form of Latin cambire "to exchange, barter," a word of Celtic origin, from PIE root *kemb- "to bend, crook" (with a sense evolution perhaps from "to turn" to "to change," to "to barter"); cognate with Old Irish camm "crooked, curved;" Middle Irish cimb "tribute," cimbid "prisoner;" see cant (n.2).

From c. 1300 as "undergo alteration, become different." In part an abbreviation of exchange. From late 14c. especially "to give an equivalent for in smaller parts of the same kind" (money). Meaning "to take off clothes and put on other ones" is from late 15c. Related: Changed;changing. To change (one's) mind is from 1590s.

decant (v.)

1630s, "pour off gently the clear liquid from a solution by tipping the vessel," originally an alchemical term, from French décanter, perhaps from Medieval Latin decanthare "to pour from the edge of a vessel," from de- "off, away" (see de-) + Medieval Latin canthus "corner, lip of a jug," from Latin cantus, canthus "iron rim around a carriage wheel" (see cant (n.2)). Related: Decanted; decanting.

argot (n.)

1860, from French argot (17c.) "the jargon of Paris rogues and thieves" (for purposes of disguise and concealment), earlier "the company of beggars," from French argot, "group of beggars," a word of unknown origin.

Gamillscheg suggests a connection to Old French argoter "to cut off the stubs left in pruning," with a connecting sense of "to get a grip on." The best English equivalent is perhaps cant. The German equivalent is Rotwelsch, literally "Red Welsh," but the first element of that might be connected with Middle High German rot "beggar." Compare pedlar's French (1520s) "language of thieves and vagabonds."