Recently, I had the realization that the word panorama immediately meant "wide view" to me throughout elementary and middle school, but after that my prototype of the word shifted to be the camera mode on iPhone. It's interesting how our own perceptions of words change with new technology! Anyway, panorama developed from the name of a specific painting of a Scottish landscape on a cylindrical surface by eighteenth-century English artist Robert Barker. He coined the word from the Greek prefix pan-, meaning "everywhere", and horama, meaning "sight", "spectacle", or "that which is seen". The h was dropped because it would be weird to say panhorama, but that later led to confusions such as when the word diorama was coined based on Greek dia- (meaning "through") and panorama. Finally, pan- is from Proto-Indo-European pant, meaning "all", and horama traces to PIE wer, meaning "observe".
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.