Givology Staff's Blog

The Etymology of Words and Givology

Learning the etymology of words allows us to recognize the complex meaning and multiple dimensions a term carries. We can discover that a word implies more than we had imagined. For this reason, this blog post reveals the etymology of words related to Givology. Learning its origin and development will allow us to better understand what Givology means and does.
The word ‘education’ has been derived from the Latin word educare. The term e means "out of" and duco means "to lead". The term educare, thus, means "to lead out", "to draw out" and "to bring forth". The innate powers of the individual should be properly cared and given scope to develop. Each and every child has the innate powers. It should be located and proper education to be provided to develop. The first written record of the word education is found in the 1530s.
“Given” originated from Old English giefaan, "to give, bestow, deliver to another; allot, grant; commit, devote, entrust". Giefan inturn came from Proto-Germanic geban (source also of Old Frisian jeva, Middle Dutch haven, Dutch geven, Old High German geban, German geben, Gothic giban). It became given in Middle English, but changed to "g" by influence of Old Norse gefa "to give". The fact that the fundamental meaning of this word has not changed for hundreds of years tells us about the nature and worldliness of this act. The generality of this term has allowed it to survive for this long. There are many ways to give. The recipient, the attitude, the given, and the giver can all vary. Also, because giving is an action so innate in us, a term to describe it has always been demanded.
Philanthropy has its roots in the Greek word philanthr?pía. Composed of phil (loving) and anthr?pos (mankind), the meaning was understood as "loving mankind, useful to man". Plutarch, in the second century, used the word to describe superior people. The english derivation was, however, borrowed from the late latin philanthrophia, not the greek. During the middle ages, philanthropy was superseded by the term Caritas, modern day charity. Francis Bacon salvaged the word and modernized it in the 17th century, considering it to mean "goodness". Samuel Johnson simply defined philanthropy as "love of mankind; good nature", a more general definition that still survives today.
The word learn has roots in in the Old English leornian: "to get knowledge, be cultivated, to study, to read, think about". Before leornian was the Proto-Germanic lisnojanan, with root word lois (furrow, track) and a base sense of "to follow or find the track". It is related to German gleis "track" and to Old English læst "sole of the foot".
Givology in the combination of all these complex concepts and more. Like in english, the meaning of learning and education for Givology is not one dimensional. Givology's focus on learning does not only apply to the causes they aid, but also to the attitude of their giving. It is not just about giving but also about learning to give by finding the most effective philanthropic model.


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