…behind the word

Origin of the word: ABDUCTION

Abduction /noun, plural: abductions/ (English): 1690-1700

> In another languages:

  • Abducción (Español)
  • Abdução (Português)
  • Abduktion (Deutsch)
  • Abduction (Français)
  • Abduzione (Italiano)

> From:

  • Lat. abductio, abductiōnis (separation, leading away, taking away). This comes from the verb abdūcere, abdūcō (to take away): ab– (away, from) + dūcere, dūcō (to lead, to drive).

> Meaning:

  • Present: (…) Forc(ing) someone to go somewhere with you, often using threats or violence (Cambridge Dictionary). The action or an instance of forcibly taking someone away against their will; the illegal removal of a child from parents or guardian; the movement of a limb or other part away from the midline of the body, or from another part (Oxford Dictionary).
  • Original: A taking away (mostly by force).

One response

  1. In all the languages mentioned above (not including English), the variants of the word are used mainly in the physiological and philosophical senses (the movement of the limb away from the body; and the syllogism, or deductive argument, whose major premise is certain but whose minor premise is probable, from which comes the term “abductive reasoning”).

    Lately, the term is starting to be used with the sense of “alien abduction”.

    However, the term is rarely used meaning “kidnapping”. In that context these are the words used:

    Secuestro (Spanish)
    Sequestro (Portuguese)
    Entführung (German)
    Enlèvement (French)
    Sequestro (Italian)

    The Spanish, Portuguese and Italian words come from the same root that the English “sequestrum” (a piece of dead bone separated from the sound bone in necrosis), “secuestration”, “to sequester”, and “to sequestrate” (taking temporary possession of someone’s property until they have paid back the money that they owe or until they have obeyed a court order; and more generally, to separate, to remove).

    These ones come from Lat. sequestrō (to set aside, to put in the hands of a trustee), and this from sequester (mediator, trustee).

    The French noun (enlèvement) comes from the verb “enlever” (to remove, to take off): en- (in, into) + lever (to raise, to lift; from Lat. “lēvō” (to elevate), and this from “levis” (light, not heavy).

    The German noun (Entführung) comes from the verb “entführen”: ent- (away) + führen (to lead, to carry, to guide).

    November 11, 2010 at 8:16 pm

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