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Re: Step-

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on August 01, 2005

In Reply to: Step- Posted by Kevin Holton on August 01, 2005

: Can anyone tell me the origin of the prefix "step" in relation terms, e.g. "stepmother"?

It derives from Old English "steop", which is related to Old English "astieped", meaning "bereaved". In other words, you only have a "stepmother" because you have been bereaved of your real one. (This usage pre-dates divorce on demand by a thousand years or so.)