Ben Crowder / Blog

A fun little bit of etymological exploration (and note that all of this assumes that Wiktionary is accurate):

battle comes from the Latin battuo, battuere, to beat (whence combat, to beat with). But battle is also a word in Scottish dialect that in its adjectival form means improving, nutritious, or fruitful, and the verb can mean to feed or nourish. (So the next time someone says, “I’ll battle you,” hopefully this is what they mean.) This second sense is related to batten, which means to improve or to thrive and (as you might guess) is related to better. And of course batten also means the long strips of wood or metal used to batten down the hatches.

Speaking of which, I didn’t realize that this kind of hatch comes from the word for hedge and also has to do with gates in said hedges. The other kind of hatching, where a bird pecks its way out of an egg (for example), is related to the verb hack through a Proto-Indo-European root that has to do with sharpness. And, of course, this kind of hacking is an unfortunate feature in battles.