Before the word carpenter came to be used in the fourteenth century, people used the word treowwyrhta, which meant "tree-worker" in Old English. Carpenter was brought over by the Anglo-Normans from a dialect in northern France where they called the workers carpentiers, and that term derives from the Latin phrase artifex carpentarius, which meant "wagon maker". Artifex here is the word meaning "craftsman", which leaves the root of carpenter meaning "wagon". That comes from carpentum, which specifically referred to a type of two-wheeled chariots that was borrowed from the Gauls, who called it carbantos. Eventually, that traces to Proto-Italic karbantos, meaning "war chariot", which is probably related to the etymon of the word car (maybe from Proto-Indo-European krsos, "to run").
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.