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  • Megan Hull Hu : hu- "good" "color," Old English hiw "color; form, appearance; species, kind; beauty," earlier heow, hiow, from Proto-Germanic *hiwam (source also of Old Norse hy "bird's down," Swedish hy "skin, complexion," Gothic hiwi "form, appearance"), from PIE *kiwo-, suffixed form of root *kei- (2), a color adjective of broad application (source also of Sanskrit chawi "hide, skin, complexion, color, beauty, splendor," Lithuanian šyvas "white"). A common word in Old English, squeezed into obscurity after c. 1600 by color (n.) but revived 1850s in chemistry and chromatography, often in a distinctive sense in reference to the quality of color other than luminosity and chroma. Man : Plural men (German Männer) shows effects of i-mutation. Sometimes connected to root *men- "to think" (see mind), which would make the ground sense of man "one who has intelligence," but not all linguists accept this. Liberman, for instance, writes, "Most probably man 'human being' is a secularized divine name" from Mannus [Tacitus, "Germania," chap. 2], "believed to be the progenitor of the human race." SO. The etymology of the word human seems to point us in the direction of a good, coloured, or light spectrum, who thinks.
    December 10, 2016