Monday, July 11, 2011

The Oil (Oleum)

In this past few months I began to question about the true meaning of the word “Oil”. This word makes me wonder about its connection to another word “Olive”. The two words may have their own meaning. The first is a liquid substance, while the other one is a tree.

If we combine the two words it will create a phrase “Olive Oil” a liquid substance from olive tree. Most people know about Olive oil. We use it for almost every kind of purpose, like cooking, material for medicine and cosmetics, and also for lightning. We also know a fictional character named Olive Oyl.

But, what makes me think about the connection between the two words is, that the two words seem identical. It makes me think that the two words actually have the same meaning.

My first hypothesis came when I learned that Oil is not a word of English Origin, since it closes to another word, “Oleum” which is Latin. Then I learned also that “Oleum” is the Latin word for “oil”. While the Latin word for Olive is “Olive”. I compare the two word Olive and Oleum. They’re almost identical.

Then I began searching about he origin of he word “Oil”. And this is what I get. The word Oil is from the Old French word “Oile”, and from the latin “Oleum”. Both words are actually from the Greek word "ἔλαιον" (elaion), "olive oil, oil" and that is from the Word “ἐλαία" (elaia), "olive tree".

This answers my question. And it makes me clear about the word. The result is of course support my hypothesis.

Now we use the word to refer to all types of Oil, example petroleum, oil from palm tree, oil from other tree than Olive. But now I discovered that the word oil itself was originated from the word olive. And maybe it can also mean that oil was actually a product from Olive tree.


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