- able[able 词源字典]
- able:  Able and ability both come ultimately from the Latin verb habēre ‘have’ or ‘hold’. From this the Latin adjective habilis developed, meaning literally ‘convenient or suitable for holding on to’, and hence in more general terms ‘suitable’ or ‘apt’, and later, more positively, ‘competent’ or ‘expert’. It came into English via Old French, bringing with it the noun ablete ‘ability’. This was later reformed in English, on the model of its Latin source habilitās, to ability.
=> habit[able etymology, able origin, 英语词源]
- able (adj.)
- early 14c., from Old French (h)able (14c.), from Latin habilem, habilis "easily handled, apt," verbal adjective from habere "to hold" (see habit). "Easy to be held," hence "fit for a purpose." The silent h- was dropped in English and resisted academic attempts to restore it 16c.-17c. (see H), but some derivatives (such as habiliment, habilitate) acquired it via French.
Able-whackets - A popular sea-game with cards, in which the loser is beaten over the palms of the hands with a handkerchief tightly twisted like a rope. Very popular with horny-fisted sailors. [Smyth, "Sailor's Word-Book," 1867]