Woot Woot! The Etymology Nerd has been running for a whole year now! The word anniversary comes to us from Latin anniversarius, which conveniently meant "returning yearly", especially referring to religious holidays in those times. This, unsurprisingly, is a portmanteau of annus, meaning "yearly", and versus, "to turn". It is generally confirmed that annus used to be the Proto-Italic word atno, from Proto-Indo-European het. Both meant "year" as well. Meanwhile, we've already covered versus, the past participle of vertere, for a plethora of posts, but just to reiterate, it is from Proto-Italic werto, from Proto-Indo-European wer, which also meant "rotate", not a huge difference. So, the word anniversary had poor semantic variation, but nevertheless has a cool etymological meaning. Usage of anniversary has been steadily increasing, but there are sadly no serendipitous yearly trends. Anyway, happy birthday to my site!
Adam Aleksic is a sophomore studying linguistics and government at Harvard University. He also has disturbing interests in politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, and law.