spek- / Indo-European roots


To observe.

Oldest form *spek̑-, becoming *spek- in centum languages.

Derivatives include espionage, spectrum, despise, suspect, despicable, bishop, telescope.

I. Basic form *spek-.
1. a. espy, spy from Old French espier, to watch; b. espionage from Old Italian spione, spy, from Germanic derivative *speh-ōn-, watcher. Both a and b from Germanic *spehōn.
2. Suffixed form *spek-yo-. specimen, spectacle, spectrum, speculate, speculum, spice; aspect, circumspect, conspicuous, despise, expect, frontispiece, inspect, introspect, perspective, perspicacious, prospect, respect, respite, retrospect, spiegeleisen, suspect, transpicuous from Latin specere, to look at.
3. species, specious; especial from Latin speciēs, a seeing, sight, form.
4. Suffixed form *spek-s, "he who sees" in Latin compounds. a. Latin extispex (see sek-); b. Latin haruspex (see gherə-); c. Latin auspex (see awi-).
5. Suffixed form *spek-ā-. despicable from Latin (denominative) dēspicārī, to despise, look down on (dē-, down; see de-)
6. Suffixed metathetical form *skep-yo-. skeptic from Greek skeptesthai, to examine, consider.
II. Extended o-grade form *spoko-. scope, -scope, -scopy; bishop, episcopal, horoscope, telescope from metathesized Greek skopos, one who watches, also object of attention, goal, and its denominative skopein (< *skop-eyo-), to see.

[Pokorny spek̑- 984.]

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