Let’s Debate About Rebates
Frank asked about a possible connection between rebate and debate.
The –bate element in some few words comes from a violent French verb meaning to knock to the ground, to conquer, to beat back, to crush, or to demolish.
In most cases, the meaning softened over the centuries to something like reduce, counterbalance, deflect, or make less intense.
Rebate once meant to drive an enemy back. By the 15th century, it included the meaning to allow a sum of money as a deduction on the full price – in other words, a refund. Debate once referred to military encounters. Eventually, it meant to engage in disputation or argument.
Another word that uses the same word part is abate. It started with the common meaning to beat down. Then it passed through to do away with, to render null and void, to depress, to reduce in size or value, to lessen in force, and to calm.
Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition
Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.com and clicking on Listen Now.
There is a collection of podcasts. Go to wtcmradio.com and click on Podcasts. Scroll down The Ron Jolly Show to find the Words to the Wise audio button.
Visit the Senior Corner at http://seniors.tcnet.org