1775, "a remembrance or memory," from French souvenir (12c.), from Old French noun use of souvenir (v.) "to remember, come to mind," from Latin subvenire "come to mind," from sub "up from below" (see sub-) + venire "to come," from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come." Meaning "token of remembrance, memento" is first recorded 1782.
Entries linking to souvenir
In Latin assimilated to following -c-, -f-, -g-, -p-, and often -r- and -m-. In Old French the prefix appears in the full Latin form only "in learned adoptions of old Latin compounds" [OED], and in popular use it was represented by sous-, sou-; as in French souvenir from Latin subvenire, souscrire (Old French souzescrire) from subscribere, etc.
The original meaning is now obscured in many words from Latin (suggest, suspect, subject, etc.). The prefix is active in Modern English, sometimes meaning "subordinate" (as in subcontractor); "inferior" (17c., as in subhuman); "smaller" (18c.); "a part or division of" (c. 1800, as in subcontinent).
*gwā-, also *gwem-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to go, come."
It forms all or part of: acrobat; adiabatic; advent; adventitious; adventure; amphisbaena; anabasis; avenue; base (n.) "bottom of anything;" basis; become; circumvent; come; contravene; convene; convenient; convent; conventicle; convention; coven; covenant; diabetes; ecbatic; event; eventual; hyperbaton; hypnobate; intervene; intervenient; intervention; invent; invention; inventory; juggernaut; katabatic; misadventure; parvenu; prevenient; prevent; provenance; provenience; revenant; revenue; souvenir; subvention; supervene; venire; venue; welcome.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit gamati "he goes," Avestan jamaiti "goes," Tocharian kakmu "come," Lithuanian gemu, gimti "to be born," Greek bainein "to go, walk, step," Latin venire "to come," Old English cuman "come, approach," German kommen, Gothic qiman.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "under," also "up from under," hence "over."
It forms all or part of: above; assume; Aufklarung; eave; eavesdropper; hyphen; hypo-; hypochondria; hypocrisy; hypotenuse; hypothalamus; hypothesis; hypsi-; hypso-; opal; open; oft; often; resuscitate; somber; souffle; source; soutane; souvenir; sub-; subject; sublime; subpoena; substance; subterfuge; subtle; suburb; succeed; succinct; succor; succubus; succumb; sudden; suffer; sufficient; suffix; suffrage; suggestion; summon; supine; supple; supply; support; suppose; surge; suspect; suspend; sustain; up; up-; Upanishad; uproar; valet; varlet; vassal.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit upa "near, under, up to, on," Greek hypo "under," Latin sub "under, below," Gothic iup, Old Norse, Old English upp "up, upward," Hittite up-zi "rises."