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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Er


ER, the termination of many English words, is the Teutonic form of the Latin or; the one contracted from wer, the other from vir, a man. It denotes an agent, originally of the masculine gender, but now applied to men or things indifferently; as in farmer, heater, grater. At the end names of places, er signifies a man of the place; Londoner is the same as London-man.

There is a passage in Herodotus, Melpomene, 110, in which the word wer, vir, a man, is mentioned as used by the Scythians; a fact proving the affinity of the Scythian and the Teutonic nations.

'The Scythians call the Amazons Oiorpata, a word which may be rendered, in Greek, menkillers; for oior is the name they give to man, pata signifies to kill.' Pata, in the Burman language, signifies to kill; but it is probable that this is really the English beat.