Issue 1: Arrival

After a long and arduous journey across the oceans, imagine your relief to finally see land. You anchor your boat, rush to the shore and touch the sand; you’ve arrived.

The word “arrive” comes from the Old French ariver “To come to land” which comes from the Latin ad ripam, ad meaning “to” or “toward” and ripa meaning “shore” or “riverbank”. Ripa comes from the same root word as rift, a tear or cut, as a river cuts its way through a landscape towards the shore.

After your arrival, you follow the narrow river for a little while before setting up camp. You are about to settle in for the night when a stone flies past your ear. You look across the river to see a group of angry villagers; it seems you now have some rivals.

This could be good or bad news. A rival was originally somebody who shares the same river as you, a neighbour. But as certain as a river runs to the sea, so neighbours will quarrel, and over time the meaning of rival became “One who is in pursuit of the same object as another.”

An pack of angry wild dogs appear across the river and chase your new neighbours away. You are relieved, your spirits are lifted.

The word relieve comes from the Latin relevare; re “once again” and levare meaning “to lighten, to lift up”, also giving us lever, which can be used to lift up heavy items with ease.