06 maio 2017

History of a Prefix

Step- (as in stepmother or stepsister) had long been associated with orphans and orphanages. In old English, steopcild meant “orphan.”  The words “stepfather” and “stepmother” therefore originally meant one who becomes father or mother to an orphan. In the 1900s this connection faded (and orphanages became less common). Step- came to mean anyone who is related by marriage.

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