I've been putting off this post for a long time. The word procrastinate is more than just a single-word synonym for "put off for tomorrow"; that's literally what it means in Latin, as procrastinatum. Here, we can dismantle the prefix pro-, which often means "forward" and is kind of a modifier here (from Proto-Indo-European per, "to go over"), and the rest of the word is crastinus, or "belonging to tomorrow". The root, cras, means "tomorrow", and has an obscure origin, but most likely it comes from Proto-Indo-European ku, which meant "to burn" and likely was connected to "tomorrow" due to the implications of light, and light coming again with each new day. Those pre-civilized troglodytes were bad at naming things. But, yeah, procrastinate both means "put off for tomorrow" and "to go over burning", the latter of which actually sounds pretty pro-active.
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.