word forming element indicating "oneself," also "automatic," from Old English use of self (pron.) in compounds, such as selfbana "suicide," selflice "self-love, pride, vanity, egotism," selfwill "free will." Middle English had self-witte "one's own knowledge and intelligence" (early 15c.).
OED counts 13 such compounds in Old English. Middle English Compendium lists four, counting the self-will group as a whole. It re-emerges as a living word-forming element mid-16c., "probably to a great extent by imitation or reminiscence of Greek compounds in (auto-)," and formed a great many words in the pamphlet disputes of the 17c.
"to erase or obliterate," especially something written or carved, late 15c., from French effacer, from Old French esfacier (12c.) "to wipe out, destroy," literally "to remove the face," from es- "out" (see ex-) + face "appearance," from Latin facies "face" (see face (n.)). Related: Effaced; effacing; effaceable. Compare deface.
<a href="https://www.etymonline.com/word/self-effacing">Etymology of self-effacing by etymonline</a>
Harper, D. (n.d.). Etymology of self-effacing. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved $(datetime), from https://www.etymonline.com/word/self-effacing