(Cadaver, cap. xviii. p. 588.)
The Schoolmen and middle-age jurists improved on Tertullian's etymology. He says,--"a cadendo--cadaver." But they form the word thus: Caro data vermibus = Ca-da-ver.
On this subject see a most interesting discourse of the (paradoxical and sophistical, nay the whimsical) Count Joseph de Maistre, in his Soirées de St. Pétersbourg. 1 He remarks on the happy formation of many Latin words, in this manner: e.g., Caecus ut ire = Caecutire, "to grope like a blind man." The French, he says, are not without such examples, and he instances the word ancêtre = ancestor, as composed out of ancien and être, i.e., one of a former existence. Courage, he says, is formed from caeur and rage, this use of rage being the Greek thumos. He supposes that the English use the word rage in this sense, but I recall only the instance:
"Chill penury repressed their noble rage," from Gray's Elegy. The Diversions of Purley, of Horne-Tooke, supply amusing examples of the like in the formation of English words.
OEuvres, Tom. v. p. 111. ↩