In 1279 CE, Dominican friar Laurentius Gallus wrote La Somme des Vices et des Vertus, a treatise on morality written in French. 61 years later, Benedictine monk Dan Michael of Norgate published a translation of that in the Kentish dialect. Michael's translation was quite poorly done, but it's historically significant to us because it was the first time the word innocent was used in the English language. Before that, in Old French it was inocent, and in Latin it was innocens, which literally meant "to not hurt". This is because the root is the verb nocere, meaning "to hurt", and that's modified by the prefix in-, which here means "not". Nocere, through Proto-Italic nokeo, comes from the Proto-Indo-European root nokeo ("disappear"), while in- is from PIE n, also "not".
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.