Where does “superstitious” come from?

 I know it’s been bugging you all!

superstition [15 century] from Word Origins (2006), A&C Black, viewed 30 April 2010, <from http://0-www.credoreference.com.brum.beds.ac.uk/entry/acbwordorig/superstition>

Etymologically, superstition denotes ‘standing over’ something. It comes via Old French superstition from Latin superstitiō, a derivative of superstāre ‘stand over’. This was a compound verb formed from the prefix super- ‘above’ and stāre ‘stand’ (a relative of English stand). The sense ‘irrational fear’, which evolved in Latin, may have been based on the notion of someone ‘standing over’ something in awe or fear.

 

 superstitiO WITH COMBINING MACRON from Collins Latin Dictionary, © HarperCollins Publishers, 1997

feminine. (Genitive: O WITH COMBINING MACRONnis.)  awful fear, superstition.
 

interstice  from Shorter Oxford English Dicitionary 2001

– NOUN (usually insterstices) an intervening space, especially a very small one: eg sunshine filtered trhough the interstices of the arching tees
ORIGIN late Middle English; from Latin interstitium, from intersistere ‘stand between’, from inter- ‘betwen’ + sistere ‘to stand’
 
[So, the adjective is interstitial as in interstitial cystitis.  HJ]

 

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