The word ubiquitous was coined more than two hundred years after ubiquity; it's far from unusual to see nouns be there first. Through Modern Latin, uibiquity traces to the Latin word ubique, meaning "everywhere" (you can see the connection to the current definition). This was composed of two parts: ubi, meaning "where", and que, which held many definitions, including "and", "any", and "also", but in this case stood in as the "every". Ubi- is reconstructed as having derived from the Proto-Indo-European root kwe, which was an important part of many pronouns and ironically ubiquitous, making up parts of the words why, which, where, who, how, either, neuter, quantity, quote, quibble, quality, and quotient. My favorite descendant of the root, though, is the Latin word que, which makes up the second part of ubiquity. That's right: ubiquity comes from a PIE root so ubiquitous that it composes both halves of the word. Etymology is awesome.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic. This year, I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government and Linguistics. There, I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society and wrote a thesis on Serbo-Croatian language policy, magna cum laude. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.