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Re: It's just a comparative adjective...

Posted by Bob on November 28, 2001

In Reply to: It's just a comparative adjective... posted by Alex on November 28, 2001

: : : I'd like to know the meaning of the word 'junior' in the following sentence:

: : : "He married with a girl who was twenty years his 'junior'.

: : : Junior in this case is not his younger son, once he married in an advanced age, and never had had son.

: : It means the girl was twenty years younger than he.
: : If she is 20 years his junior and he is 50 years old then she is 30 years old.

: basically most words ending in '-ior' are taken straight from the Latin equivalent - for example in Latin:

: positive comparative
: iuvenis (young) iuvenior
: senex (old) senior
: bonus (good) melior

: melior then gives us words like 'ameliorate' - to make better.
: so anyway junior just seems to be a corruption of iuvenior. the confusion of the original point comes from the fact that these adjectives when used on their own take on substantive properties.
: nice.

It's always useful for Americans to remind ourselves that Senate and senile come from the same root.