- ubiquitous[ubiquitous 词源字典]
- ubiquitous:  Latin ubīque meant ‘everywhere’ (it was formed from ubī ‘where’ and a generalizing particle -que). From it was derived the modern Latin noun ubīquitās ‘quality of being everywhere’. This was adopted into English as ubiquity , which later formed the basis of ubiquitous.
[ubiquitous etymology, ubiquitous origin, 英语词源]
- udder: [OE] Udder goes back ultimately to prehistoric Indo-European *ūdhr-. This, or variants of it, produced the word for ‘udder’ in the majority of Indo-European languages: Greek oúthar, Latin ūber (source of English exuberant), Sanskrit údhar, Russian vymja, German euter, Dutch uier, Swedish juver, and Danish yver for instance, as well as English udder.
- ugly:  Ugly originally meant ‘horrible, frightening’; ‘offensive to the sight’ is a secondary development, first recorded in the 14th century. The word was borrowed from Old Norse uggligr, a derivative of the verb ugga ‘fear’. In the early 1930s it was applied, in the altered spelling ugli, to a new sort of citrus fruit, a hybrid of the grapefruit and the tangerine; the reference is to the fruit’s unprepossessing knobbly skin.
- ullage:  Ullage denotes the amount of unfilled space in a wine bottle or barrel. It goes back ultimately to Latin oculus ‘eye’ (a distant relative of English eye), in the metaphorical sense ‘bung-hole of a barrel’. As the word passed into Old French as oeil, this meaning followed it, and it formed the basis of a varb ouiller ‘fill up a barrel to the bung-hole’. From this was derived ouillage, which English acquired via Anglo-Norman ulliage as ullage.
=> eye, ocular
- ulterior:  Ulterior goes back to an unrecorded Latin *ulter ‘distant’ (a relative of ultrā ‘beyond’, source of the English prefix ultra-). Its comparative form was ulterior, which meant literally ‘more distant’. Its superlative form was ultimus, which lies behind English ultimate  and ultimatum  (etymologically the ‘farthest’ or last point).
=> ultimate, ultimatum
- ultramarine:  Ultramarine originally denoted a blue pigment made from the stone lapis lazuli. This was imported in the Middle Ages from Asia by sea, and so it was termed in medieval Latin ultrāmarīnus, literally ‘beyond the seas’. This was a compound adjective formed from the prefix ultrā- ‘beyond’ and marīnus ‘of the sea’ (source of English marine).
=> marine, mere, mermaid
- umbilical:  Umbilical was borrowed from medieval Latin umbilīcālis, a derivative of Latin umbilīcus ‘navel’. This went back ultimately to the Indo-European base *onobh-, a variant of which, *nobh-, produced English navel [OE].
- umbrage:  Umbrage is one of a group of English words that go back ultimately to Latin umbra ‘shadow’. Indeed, it was originally used for ‘shade, shadow’ in English: ‘the light, and also … the false umbrage which the moon doth show forth’, Betham, Precepts of War 1544. The expression take umbrage ‘take offence’ arises from a metaphorical extension of ‘shadow’ to ‘suspicion’, which took place in French.
The word itself reached English via Old French umbrage from Vulgar Latin *umbrāticum, a noun use of the neuter form of Latin umbrāticus ‘shadowy’, which was derived from umbra. Other English words from the same source include adumbrate , penumbra , sombre, sombrero, umbel , and umbrella.
=> adumbrate, penumbra, sombre, sombrero, umbel, umbrella
- umbrella:  Etymologically, an umbrella is a ‘little shadow’. The word was borrowed from Italian ombrella, a diminutive form of ombra ‘shade, shadow’. This in turn went back to Latin umbra, source of English sombre, umbrage, etc. It originally denoted a ‘sunshade’, and that meaning followed it into English, but it was not long before the vagaries of the British climate saw it being applied to a ‘protector against rain’.
- umpire:  An umpire is etymologically someone who is ‘not the equal’ of others, and is therefore neutral between them. The word’s ultimate source is Old French nomper, a compound noun formed from the prefix non- ‘not’ and per ‘equal’ (source of English peer). This was borrowed into English in the 14th century as noumpere, but soon misdivision of a noumpere as an oumpere led to umpire (the same process produced adder from an original nadder).
- umpteen:  Umpteen was derived from an earlier umpty. This began life as a signallers’ slang term for a ‘dash’ in morse code (like its companion iddy for ‘dot’, it was purely fanciful in origin). Its similarity to twenty, thirty, etc led to its being used for an ‘indefinitely large number’, and umpteen simply replaced the -ty suffix with -teen.
- unanimous:  Unanimous means etymologically ‘of a single mind’, hence ‘sharing the same opinion’. It comes from Latin ūnanimus ‘of one mind’, a compound adjective formed from ūnus ‘one’ and animus ‘mind, spirit’ (a relative of English animal, animate, etc).
=> animal, animate
- uncle:  Uncle comes via Anglo-Norman uncle and late Latin aunculus from Latin avunculus ‘mother’s brother, maternal uncle’ (source also of English avuncular ). This was a diminutive noun derived from the prehistoric base *aw- ‘grandparent’, and it has relatives in Latin avus ‘grandfather’, Welsh ewythr ‘uncle’, Polish wuj ‘uncle’, Armenian hav ‘uncle’, etc.
- uncouth: [OE] Uncouth originally meant ‘unknown’ or ‘unfamiliar’ – a sense which survived into the 17th century (‘Now the whole superficies of the earth as well uncouth as discovered, is but a little point’, John Boys, Works 1616). ‘Crude, awkward’ is a secondary development, first recorded in the 16th century. The word was formed in the prehistoric Germanic period from the prefix un- ‘not’ and the past participle of *kunnan ‘know’ (whose closest living English relative is could).
- unction:  Unction was borrowed from Latin unctiō, a derivative of unguere ‘anoint’ (source also of English unguent ). This was descended from the same prehistoric ancestor as produced Welsh ymenyn ‘butter’. Unctuous , from the medieval Latin derivative unctuōsus, originally meant literally ‘oily, greasy’, but has since moved into more metaphorical areas.
=> unctuous, unguent
- under: [OE] Under originated as a comparative form. It has been traced back to a prehistoric Indo-European *ndhero-, which meant ‘lower’, and is also the ultimate source of English inferior . This passed into Germanic as *unther-, which has evolved into German unter, Dutch onder, and Swedish, Danish, and English under.
- understand: [OE] The compound verb understand was formed in the centuries immediately preceding the Anglo-Saxon invasions of Britain. It is composed, of course, of under and stand, and the semantic link between ‘standing under’ something and ‘knowing about’ it may be ‘being close to’ it.
- undulate:  Undulate goes back ultimately to Latin unda ‘wave’, source also of English inundate , redundant, and surround. This in turn was descended from the Indo-European base *ud-, which also produced Greek húdōr ‘water’ (source of the English prefix hydro-), and variants of which lie behind English vodka, water, and wet.
=> abound, inundate, redundant, sound, surround
- ungulate: see nail
- unicorn:  Legends of a one-horned beast abounded in ancient times, perhaps inspired by the rhinoceros, or a sideways view of an antelope. When the early Greek translators of the Hebrew Bible came across the word re’em, which seems to have denoted a sort of wild ox, they rendered it monókerōs (literally ‘onehorn’), perhaps identifying it with the rhinoceros. The Vulgate turned this into Latin as unicornis, a noun use of an already existent Latin adjective meaning ‘one-horned’, formed from ūnus ‘one’ and cornū ‘horn’ (a relative of English horn).