Heard it on the radio... The orgins of the word testify lie in the practice in the old days of grabbing onto your testicles as you swore you were telling the truth. Presumably, if you were found to not be telling the truth, they'd be lopped off or some such. It seems more likely to me that testify adn testicles have some comon older root. Does anyone know?
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quote:Testify There is bit of folklore floating about that the word testify (with its associated forms like testimony and testament) derives from testicle. The legend has it that ancient Romans would hold their testes while swearing oaths. This is not true. The word does not derive from testicle, nor did Romans swear oaths on their private parts.
Testify, et. al., derives from the Latin testis meaning witness. Testicle also derives from testis. The testes are witnesses to a man's virility.
Today we swear on Bibles, a few millenia ago we swore on our testicles It's known that several cultures have done this, but I'm not certain as to whether the root word is the same in this case.
Posts: 1094 | From: Helsinki, Finland | Registered: Jan 2001
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