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True as a Tree : the Surprising connection between the Truth and Trees

The origin of words makes for fascinating study. Behind the word lies an untold story that illuminates why and how the word came to be. Words like abyss and anhydrous are derived from Greek of not or without and mean without bottom and without water. The Latin ambi that means both sides or around we get ambidextrous and ambivalence. There are some inconspicious words that we use so often but have never really thought as to how they have derived their name.

Gina Cooke and Brad Prunell render a beautiful lesson on the origin and appropriateness of the word TRUE. True comes from the Old English word triewe or treowe that means steadfast and faithful. The Pro -Indo-Europeans called it dreu that meant wood tree. True meant as solid and steadfast as wood.

This derivation couldn’t be better. A tree stands steadfast, tall and rooted. It is reliable and solid providing shelter and shade to all under it. The truth too behaves similarly. It is unchanging, the same at all times and leads the way forward.

TREE

An oak tree. Image credit: thegraphicsfairy.com

If a child is told ‘true’ is like a tree, there will be an instant mental click. The favourite friends of children from whose branches they swing from, whose nodes provide nooks to climb on; the kind friends who give generously and stand firmly; they who can be counted on to be there at all times.

We ourselves remember trees from our childhood that have withstood time to be playgrounds now to our children and perhaps their children.

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