Monday, September 29, 2014

Deracinated, Extirpated

This primitive, deracinated life was an accurate reflection of their homelessness.
A World Elsewhere by Sigrid MacRae

Deracinated is "pull out by the roots," as is extirpated. Interestingly by have the same meaning from different Latinate roots. De and Ex are both Latin variations for removal, while Racine and Stirps are Latin for roots for roots (love that "roots for roots").

One wonders why we needed to construct two Latinate words for uproot. Perhaps this is because the words are almost always used metaphorically as synonyms for exterminate, annihilate, and the also metamorphic extinguish.

Note that deracinate seem to be specialized for the expulsion of people from their traditional homelands.