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Latin/Mediaeval Latin "Villare"


Hello there...I had a quick question about a Latin word I was hoping you could help me with.
I'm researching my genealogy and my last name of Weilert. I found that my family name traces back to the Latin word "Vilare" meaning farmstead. However, here is where I am confused.
  I can't find the word "Vilare" anywhere online in any sort of Latin reference besides the genealogy page I found. When I reverse search the word "Farmstead" from English to Latin it comes up with the words "Villula" and "Villulae"
Why are these different from "Vilare"?
Here is the link to the genealogy page.

Thank you in advance for any info you can prov

Although "villa" in the meaning of country-house, estate, or farm, and "villula" in the meaning of a small country-house, estate, or farm ("-ula" being a diminutive suffix) occurs in Classical Latin in both prose and poetry (Cicero, Horace, etc.), nevertheless, the word "villare" (alternate form: "vilare") is not found until the mediaeval period.  It is formed from the same root, "vill-" with the common Latin adjectival "-are" suffix, used in the neuter as a substantive (noun).

The meanings given in J.F. Niermeyer's extensive "Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus," which, like many resources, is not available on line, for the word in Mediaeval Latin are:

  1) a small village forming a part of an estate
  2) a donated estate having a place name
  3) a village or township
  4) a village having fields and pastures

Latin is a very adaptable language.  As different concepts of law and property developed in the mediaeval period, words were coined to meet the need.  That is why Latin is to this day so important to disciplines like science, technology, medicine, etc.  Unlike English, which is a hodge-podge of borrowed words, acronyms, and the like, Latin prefers to use existing roots with variants for new meanings.  That makes it much easier to discern the meanings of new words.  Thus, what was a country-estate ("villa") in Classical Latin becomes in Mediaeval Latin a village ("villare"), both formed from the root "vill-".  


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Ph.D. Cand. in Classical Languages. Conversant with all forms of the language: classical, mediaeval, and modern.


I have 50 years of teaching at all levels of Latin from high school through university postgraduate. I read, write, and speak Latin daily.

American Classical League, American Philological Association

A.B., M.A., Ph.D. Cand. in Classics.

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