When the adjective amenable was borrowed into English in the late sixteenth century, it was used to describe someone who could be held liable in court. This led to a meaning of "able to be controlled" that eventually gave us our modern definition of "easily persuaded". The word was borrowed from Old French amener, meaning "to bring", which was composed of the prefix a-, meaning "to" (from Latin ad and Proto-Indo-European hed, "at") and the verb mener, "to lead". In Latin as the deponent minari, that meant "to threaten", and it developed into "lead" through a sense of driving animals. Minari, which is also the etymon of the English words menace, minacious, and demeanor, either comes from the Proto-Indo-European root men, meaning "project", or mey, "small".
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.