Posted by: Jack Henry | November 20, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Companion and Pantry

I have a great new book to share called Words of a Feather: A Humorous Puzzlement of Etymological Pairs, by Murray Suid. Mr. Suid traces the etymologies of seemingly unrelated word pairs back to where they started, and in the process, he shows us what they actually have in common. Today I’ll start with the connection between friends, breads, and kitchen closets.

Companion and Pantry
Companion goes back to the Latin companio, made up of com, “with,” plus panis, “bread,” literally “with bread”—and implicitly someone you’d gladly break bread with. The same Latin word gave us company, which refers either to a group of soldiers or to a business organization.

The Latin panis is the source of the modern French word for bread, pain. [KC – And in Spanish the word for bread,
pan.] Panis also gave rise to an Old French word, paneterie, “bread room,” the place where ingredients and tools were stored for making bread and other foods. When it was imported into English, paneterie became pantry.

Happy Friday!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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