2012-04-13T19:27:34.584ZApril 13, 2012 19:27
Hey Jeff - touche. You're completely correct - in the strict sense of the same word
used. What I meant was that in common parlance it might generally be presumed that
an engineer is someone that creates or manages "engines". ie the top several entries
in the dictionary...
- a machine for converting thermal energy into mechanical energy or power to produce
force and motion.
- a railroad locomotive.
- a fire engine.
- any mechanical contrivance.
- a machine or instrument used in warfare, as a battering ram, catapult, or piece of
Of course, at the tail end of this list and going back millenia, a much more early
reference to engine would be a "seige engine".
But the assumption that engine means a machine for motive force is actually only a
very modern assumption and, as I was hoping to show, is not the origin of "engineer".
Thanks for keeping me honest...
2012-04-13T18:30:03.691ZApril 13, 2012 18:30"Engineer"
Incidentally, did you know that the word "engineer" predates the word "engine" by
I didn't realize that "several" also means "-1".
1350–1400; engine + -eer; replacing Middle English engin ( e ) our < Anglo-French
engineor Old French engigneor < Medieval Latin ingeniātor, equivalent to ingeniā
( re ) to design, devise (verbal derivative of ingenium; see engine) + Latin -tor
1250–1300; Middle English engin < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin ingenium nature,
innate quality, especially mental power, hence a clever invention, equivalent to in-
in-2 + -genium, equivalent to gen- begetting ( see kin) + -ium -ium