Something nascent is new but on the ascent; something budding with potential. Despite the "rising" connection and visible similarity to the word ascent, it's not related. This derives from the Latin word nascentem, which also sort of meant "rising in prominence" in addition to another definition of "immature". In verb form, this was nascere, a word which spawned a myriad of terms having even vaguely something to do with birth, including natal, innate, renaissance, nature, nation, and cognate. In Old Latin, nascere was gnascere (the g was dropped as it grew silent). Reconstructing it further back to Proto-Italic, the word was gnaskor, from Proto-Indo-European genh, at that point meaning "to give birth". Not too much semantic change there, but an interesting backstory nonetheless. Ironically, the word nascent has proved quite nascent; it has presently risen to its greatest usage ever.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.