Super! Natural!

Etymology is a strange hobby but I have found it can become addictive.

The other day, thinking of my doubts about what is popularly called the ‘supernatural’, and reading similar ones expressed in ‘The Mind of God’ by Paul Davies, a very readable agnostic physicist, I decided to find out what it originally meant.

It took some time but, cutting the story as short as possible, this is what I found.

Supernatural
Super– is related to the prefix sub-
which meant close to and could be above or below,
but later sub was more often used for below, under or less than,
but still occasionally to mean above,
as in sublime which means above all limit.
The other meaning of sublime is to purify by evaporation.
Super- is generally used for above, over or more than.

Natural means allied to nature.

Nature comes from natal, that which is born
(which in turn comes from borne or carried).
Hence supernatural is above but close to that which is born,
a bairn.

So supernatural implies a mother and child relationship.

I don’t know if that helps but it was an interesting surprise!

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