The Latin noun limes, which meant "path" or "boundary," has had a remarkable impact on the English language. Its accusative form, limitem, travelled into Old French as limite, and in the fourteenth century that became limit. It also spawned the Latin word for "threshold", limen, which developed into words like liminal ("pertaining to thresholds"), sublime ("up to a threshold", meant to evoke lofty concepts), eliminate ("out of the threshold"), and preliminary ("before the threshold"). There's also the word lintel, used to describe horizontal support beams used on doors and windows. Because that's related to thresholds too, it comes from a variant of Old French lintier, which, through Vulgar Latin, also traces to limes. Finally, limes comes from Latin limus ("askew"), which is thought to be from Proto-Indo-European hehl, "to bend." On a tangential but interesting note, there was a similar word, limbus, which also meant "border" and gave us the theological concept of limbo (etymologically unrelated to the game with the bar), but that's completely unrelated, coming from a different Proto-Indo-European root entirely.
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.