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To repeat, being with your self means being alone, away from the crowd. Therefore, the prefix se- means ‘apart, without.’

For example, the word secure means ‘without cares’ (Latin cura, care).


Now, the IE ‘s’ always disappears in Greek. So, the Greek root in the family is ethnos, meaning ‘people like one’s own self.’

It is found in the words ethnic, ethnology and ethos.


Latin privus single, alone

In Latin 'single,alone' meaning is 'privus'.


What do you call something which is yours alone?


‘Private’. Similarly, a right or advantage that is enjoyed by you alone is called a ‘privilege’. The word privy developed from ‘private’.


What do you call the act of taking somebody’s private possessions away?


‘Deprivation’. The resulting state of deprivation is also called privation (deprivation minus the ‘de’).

Latin proprius one’s own

In Latin 'one's own' meaning is proprius'


“Bimal, did you see that?” Old Lalita mausi—who was visiting her nephew—exclaimed. “Did you just see your daughter jump merrily into that boy’s car—in the front seat!—and shake hands and go away with him?”


“He is her friend, mausi. I know him. It’s all right.” Her middle-aged nephew calmly replied, without even looking up from his newspaper.


“How can it be all right? A young girl cavorting with a young boy under the very eyes of her father! And the father being so phlegmatic about it!” The old village woman’s sense of propriety was scandalized. “This city culture is really very shameless!”


The Latin root proprius is derived from the Latin phrase ‘pro privo’ which means ‘for the individual.’ The most obvious word from proprius is of course proper. Notice that the word ‘proper’ is used in two senses. One, the sense of ‘what is fit, acceptable or right.’ This is the meaning which Lalita mausi has in mind when she tells Bimal ji’s daughter to behave ‘properly’. The word propriety too developed from this sense.


The other sense of proper is ‘belonging to an individual.’ Your name is a ‘proper’ noun because it belongs to you. The possessions that you have are your ‘property’. The owner of property is called a proprietor. And, to make something your property is to appropriate or expropriate it.

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