Friday, February 11, 2005

Your Pal Mike Responds - Question #2

These posts are a series that started with this post. Questions are still being accepted, feel free to ask one yourself.

Question: There are lots of words in English that end in -eer, and you can tell the root pretty easily (thus establishing some idea of the meaning of the word). For example: engine/engineer; election/electioneer; puppet/puppeteer. You get the point. So anyhow, everybody knows what a pioneer is, but what the hell is a pion?

Good question Alex,

Your Pal Mike responds:

The word pioneer is derived from the French word pionnier, or in Old French peonier which means foot soldier. The root of this word – peon – comes from Medieval Latin and can be loosely translated to mean one who has broad feet.

Thus, following this path we can gather that the root of the word pioneer is peon.


Somehow I don’t think Davy Crocket would be pleased.


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