arbour


arbour
[14] Despite its formal resemblance to, and semantic connections with, Latin arbor ‘tree’, arbour is not etymologically related to it. In fact, its nearest English relative is herb. When it first came into English it was erber, which meant ‘lawn’ or ‘herb/flower garden’. This was borrowed, via Anglo-Norman, from Old French erbier, a derivative of erbe ‘herb’. This in turn goes back to Latin herba ‘grass, herb’ (in the 16th century a spelling with initial h was common in England). Gradually, it seems that the sense ‘grassy plot’ evolved to ‘separate, secluded nook in a garden’; at first, the characteristic feature of such shady retreats was their patch of grass, but their seclusion was achieved by surrounding trees or bushes, and eventually the criterion for an arbour shifted to ‘being shaded by trees’. Training on a trellis soon followed, and the modern arbour as ‘bower’ was born. The shift from grass and herbaceous plants to trees no doubt prompted the alteration in spelling from erber to arbour, after Latin arbor; this happened in the 15th and 16th centuries. => HERB

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Arbour — ist der Familienname mehrerer Personen: Al Arbour (* 1932), kanadischer Eishockeyspieler und trainer Amos Arbour (1895–1943), kanadischer Eishockeyspieler Jack Arbour (1898–1973), kanadischer Eishockeyspieler und trainer Louise Arbour (* 1947),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Arbour — Arbour, Louise …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • arbour — (n.) British English spelling of ARBOR (Cf. arbor) (q.v.); for spelling, see OR (Cf. or) …   Etymology dictionary

  • arbour — (US arbor) ► NOUN ▪ a shady recess in a garden, with a canopy of trees or climbing plants. ORIGIN Old French erbier, from Latin herba grass, herb ; influenced by Latin arbor tree …   English terms dictionary

  • arbour — [är′bər] n. Brit. sp. of ARBOR1 …   English World dictionary

  • Arbour —  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie des personnes (réelles ou fictives) partageant un même patronyme. Alger Arbour est un ancien entraineur de hockey sur glace. Amos Arbour (1895 1943) est un ancien joueur professionnel de hockey sur glace… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • arbour — [14] Despite its formal resemblance to, and semantic connections with, Latin arbor ‘tree’, arbour is not etymologically related to it. In fact, its nearest English relative is herb. When it first came into English it was erber, which meant ‘lawn’ …   Word origins

  • arbour — UK [ˈɑː(r)bə(r)] / US [ˈɑrbər] noun [countable] Word forms arbour : singular arbour plural arbours a shelter in a garden that is made by growing plants over a frame …   English dictionary

  • arbour — [[t]ɑ͟ː(r)bə(r)[/t]] arbours N COUNT An arbour is a shelter in a garden which is formed by leaves and stems of plants growing close together over a light framework. Syn: bower (in AM, use arbor) …   English dictionary

  • arbour — chiefly British variant of arbor …   New Collegiate Dictionary