Yesterday we learned that the company name Verizon is partially made up by the word horizon, but where does horizon come from? To find out, let's set our horizons as far back as the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction werw, which had meanings of "border", "landmark", or a "demarcation" of any type. This eventually became the Proto-Hellenic root worwos, with about the same meaning, and that morphed into Ancient Greek horos, or "a boundary", more specifically. Horos became horizon in Ancient Greek (by then it had the modern meaning), and that was borrowed into Latin the same way, but here is where it gets really interesting. When the French loaned the word, their accents lopped off the initial h and left us with orizon or even orisaun. That's the way we took it into English, and used it for centuries, but somewhere in the 1600s somebody noticed that it didn't line up with the Latin spelling, and threw the h right back on. So there you go.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a junior 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.