Yesterday, I wrote about how the words convict and convince come from the Latin verb vincere, meaning "to conquer". Another word that probably has that root is province. The noun was first borrowed into English around the end of the fourteenth century, when it showed up with a variety of spellings, including prouynse, prouynce, prowince, provynce, and more (the spelling was later changed to make it look more like the original Latin). Through Old French, this came from Latin provincia, composed of the prefix pro-, meaning "before", and vincere. Provincia specifically referred to administrative divisions of the Roman empire, with a sense that they were conquered beyond the home region of Italy. Related to this is Provence, a region of southeastern France, because the Romans used to call it nostra provincia, or "our province".
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a rising junior 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.