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  1. #1
    AUTOMOON is offline Member
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    messager/messenger

    Hi, everyone
    Thanks for your viewing my message, which is concerned the words " messenger". :P
    As we know, we have messenger as the carrier of messages in English.
    I am just wondering, why do those ancestors prefer messenger rather than the simple messager?
    Certainly there is something to do with the oringin of the messenger, could you give me a explanation?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: messager/messenger

    Quote Originally Posted by AUTOMOON
    As we know, we have messenger as the carrier of messages in English.
    I am just wondering, why do those ancestors prefer messenger rather than the simple messager? Certainly there is something to do with the origin of the messenger, could you give me an explanation? Thanks.
    Messenger was originally messager, with parasitic -n- inserted 13c. for no apparent reason except that people liked to say it that way (cf. passenger, harbinger, scavenger).

    www.etymoline.com

    :D

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    You live and learn. Well, I do because I have so much to learn.

  4. #4
    AUTOMOON is offline Member
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    :arrow:

    Thanks for your recommendations. :)

    But I just want to explorer more about this word, probably there
    is something about its oringin, which is interesting, right?
    Then according to what you posted, this is a hard subject.


    P.S. An American told me once, he just knew it is from French.

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    Re: :arrow:

    Quote Originally Posted by AUTOMOON
    Thanks for your recommendations. :)

    But I just want to explorer more about this word, probably there
    is something about its oringin, which is interesting, right?
    Then according to what you posted, this is a hard subject.

    P.S. An American told me once, he just knew it is from French.
    Here's what I think:

    All the -nger words in question come from French (Old French, Anglo-French), which has nasalized vowels: sounds produced by breathing air out your nose.

    For people who do not have nasalized vowels in their language, nasalized vowels sound like an, on, in, un.

    French speakers said, "messager", wherin 'a' was nasalized, but English speakers, not having nasal vowels in their language heard the next closest sound, which was -an- or -en-, giving messanger or messenger, with added -n-. They heard [n] so they said [n] and so they wrote "n". That's where I think -n- comes from. :D

    messenger - Old French messageor with -n- added later.
    passenger - Old French passageor "traveler" with -n- added later.
    scavenger - Anglo-French scawager with -n- added later.
    harbinger -Old French herbergeor with -n- added later.

    :D

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    messenger
    http://www.bartleby.com/61/6/M0240600.html

    There is a brief etymoloy there.

    (Cassie's link hasn't been working, but her explanations are quite interesting.)

    :)

  7. #7
    AUTOMOON is offline Member
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    Thanks a million, you are always helpful.
    And I appreciate the way you treat language.

    I can always get what I didn't get, though :P

    (just a little request: Could you be kind enough to check out anything you consider to be incorrect or not idiomaticlly used in my post?)

  8. #8
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by AUTOMOON
    I can always get what I didn't get, though
    I am not sure what that means. "I can't always get what I want"?


  9. #9
    AUTOMOON is offline Member
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    Well, I don't know if it is in a correct way.
    The first get means "obtain"----your knowledge or understanding,
    the second refer to understand.

    Is that clear?

  10. #10
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Yes, but that sentence doesn't work very well. Perhaps:

    • What I don't "get" at first I can always figure out sooner or later.


    What do you think?

    :)

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