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 has been described as the internet's sixth most famous etymologist. He loves writing about himself in the third person, he's a freshman at Harvard University, and he has disturbing interests in linguistics, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law.
The Etymology Nerd