What does the prefix 'ab' mean in aboriginal?

The prefix ab usually means not. Eg, abnormal = not normal.

I am stumped by the word aboriginal = not original. How can they use such a word? Or is it lost in translation?


The word aborigine is no longer politically correct here in australia. We say "aboriginal person" or just "aboriginal". I have no idea why it's not politically correct though.

6 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favourite answer

    Aboriginal, the adjective form of the noun Aborigine, has a history dating back to ancient Italian peninsula.

    The latin prefix "ab" means "from" or "away from". (Abnormal - away from normal, abjure - withdraw from judgment)

    In the ancient manner of latin, this was used to describe a person who was an original resident - "from origin" or "ab origin"

    An aborigine is an original resident and can be properly used about any indigenous people, but is only commonly used for the Australian indigenous peoples.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Ab Prefix

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    To me

    And most of the english speaking world

    "Ab" prefix suggests away from

    The term aborigini is fundamentally incorrect

  • 7 years ago

    doesn't make one bit of sense.

    abnormal means to be away from the normal

    aboriginal should mean to be away from the original inhabitants of that land.

    To me the term ABORIGINAL is the term that fits the global Caucasian, being that they cannot be traced to be the original inhabitants of any land, including Europe.

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  • 4 years ago

    Actually, it means "away from the original settlers of that land," reflecting the Eurocentric misconceptions that only they can be the first occupants of a new territory (cf., Christopher Columbus "discovered" America), thereby mischaracterizing the actual inhabitants as uncultured and uncivilized.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    don't know

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