Normally adjectives are formed from nouns, but here another noun formed from that adjective. The word volt (of which voltmeter and voltage were derived) was coined in 1873 to describe the symbol for electric potential. This came from the 1813 term voltaic, a word named after Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the electric battery. But where did Volta's name come from? There's no concrete research on the topic because it's way too meta, but a quick search of the word volta in all Indo-European languages (in ours too; a volta has something to do with sonnets) yielded the same results all around: every one of them originally meant "to turn" or "return" or had something to do with turning, and all of them come from the Latin root volvere, or "to turn". If this is correct, it would come from the Proto-Indo-European word wel, meaning "revolve", and, yes, would be connected to the word revolting, revolve, and anything else you can think of with a -vol- in it. I wouldn't be surprised if this was his last name; such occurrences are not uncommon. That would also make him related to the Volta river in Africa! Who knows though; it may just be wishful thinking.
Adam Aleksic is a 221-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard University in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd