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Ancestors or Latin origins of words in English (carpet, scarce, excerpt):
It appears to be impossible that such far-flung words as carpet, scarce, and excerpt all come from the same Latin verb; however, they do, and their histories show the astonishing and unpredictable way some words have developed.

The word carpet, for example, ultimately derives from the Latin carpo, which meant to "pluck" or to "card" wool, and it is believed that the first carpets were of wooly cloth made of unravelled threads.

Then there is the term scarce, which English inherited from the French escars, "scanty", originally from the Latin ex, "out", and carpo, "pluck". It's like "plucking" from the cookie jar until the cookies become "scanty" and scarce.

Another related word is excerpt, from Latin excerptus (ex, "out" and carpo, "pluck") which refers to something that has been "plucked out" of its context.

The result is that the idea of "plucking" streams through the three widely divergent words just as a scarce thread of color can be woven through the carpet with which this excerpt started.

These basic words and their related forms can be seen in this carpo-, carp- (cerp-) unit of "to pluck, to pick out, to gather, to select" words.

This entry is located in the following unit: carpo-, carp- (cerp-) + (page 1)