The Borg alien species (first mentioned in 1987) from Star Trek clearly got their name from the word cyborg, because the human-robot hivemind clearly is an adaptation of traditional concepts about cyborgs. But where did cyborg come from? It's actually a relatively recent formation itself, coined in 1960 as a portmanteau of cybernetic and organism, for obvious reasons. It's pretty interesting that you can reduce Borg to those two words, but it gets even better. The word cybernetics comes from a Greek word for "steersman", kybernetes, under a connection of communication and control. This derives from kubernain, meaning "steering" in general, and that in turn is tentatively reconstructed from Proto-Indo-European kerb, meaning "turn". Organism, meanwhile, has roots in the Greek word organon, meaning "tool". This, through Proto-Hellenic, comes from Proto-Indo-European werg, meaning "to work". So, depending on how far back you go, being a cyborg could mean everything from "steering tool" to "turn work".
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.