An etymologist is not a lonely hunter | OUPblog

The origin of the verbs meaning “hunt” can give us a deeper insight into the history of civilization, because hunting is one of the most ancient occupations in the world: beasts of prey hunt for food, and humans have always hunted animals not only for food but also for fur and skins.

When lions hunt antelopes and fleas hunt dogs, they do not reflect on the results of their actions, while people take hunting seriously. In the remote past, they could not draw a line between humans and animals and endowed beasts with the same capacity for reasoning they themselves had. They wanted to explain to their prey why they had behaved so cruelly toward it, apologize, and, if possible, propitiate the masters of the creatures they hunted.
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