Real Spellers

English Makes Sense!

I was thinking about forum etiquette as I was reading the <physics> posts. I had looked up information on <physics> and was happy to share it, but since Anne asked the original question, I thought it would be better if she got to post her ideas first.


And then I began to think about <etiquette>...

Since this word is almost identical to the Fr. <etiquette> (with accent on the first <e>) I wasn't sure if I could break it down into a word sum. 

Word Searcher gave me 43 matches for words ending in <ette> So now I'm thinking <ette> is a "proper suffix"

 But what about the base? When I searched for <etiqu> the only word that matched was <etiquette>.  The only other form I can think of is the plural <etiquettes>.  Would I even be able to say that <etiqu> or <etique> is the bound base?    I know (based on the entry below) that the word is related to the idea of a "ticket" and evolved into it's current meaning of "prescribed behaviour".  How does that knowledge help me denote the base properly?

Look up etiquette at

1750, from Fr. étiquette "prescribed behavior," from O.Fr. estiquette "label, ticket" (see ticket). The sense development in French perhaps is from small cards written or printed with instructions for how to behave properly at court (cf. It. etichetta, Sp. etiqueta), and/or from behavior instructions written on a soldier's billet for lodgings (the main sense of the O.Fr. word).


Melvyn, I know that you know the French language.  Would there be a more interesting matrix in French related to this word?  If I had a French language "Word Searcher" would I find other words related to ?  I'm just curious. And confused. And -- dare I say -- hopeful that you will have a fascinating answer to this question. And even if there really is no matrix for this word in English, is there a good way to visually document that at least I learned something by doing this little investigation?


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