Real Spellers

English Makes Sense!

One of my tutors sent me the following question that came up in word study with her student:

I have a question:   K. and I did the marix <anim> - breath, spirit . Tomorrow we are going to research <unanimous> to see if it fits into this matrix.  I believe the base <anim> also means 'mind'.  Which means <unanimous> would fit.  My question is we know the prefix <un> to mean not; opposite.  But according to etymonline, in the word <unanimous> it means 'one' from L 'unus'.  So could the prefix <un> also mean one?

Here's what I sent her, but there's still a question I can't answer. Any opinions? Evidence? Anyone encounter this before?

<unanimous> is a good question.

I know that <une> is a base meaning ‘one’, so when we have:

<une> + <it>
<une>+ <i> + <corn>
<une>+ <ion>
<tri> + <une>
<une> + <ite>
<une> + <i> + <fy>
<une> + <ite> + <y>

You are correct that <anime> means ‘mind, spirit’. The <un> in <unanimous> definitely means ‘one’ -- but I don’t have a good reason for it to drop the <e>, since bases don’t usually drop their <e> when compounded (as in makeup or takeout). Looks to me from etymonline there was no <e> in the Latin root — I’m posting the question on RealSpellers to see what I can find.

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