Robert MacFarlane “The Wild Places” (Penguin 2008)

The association of the wild and the wood also runs deep in etymology. The two words are thought to have grown out of the root word wald and the old Teutonic root walthus, meaning ‘forest.’ Walthus entered Old English in its variant forms of ‘weald’, ‘wald’ and ‘wold’, which were used to designate both ‘a wild place’ and ‘a wooded place’ in which wild creatures–wolves, foxes, bears–survived. The world and the wood also graft together in the Latin world silva, which means forest, and from which emerged the idea of ‘savage’, with all its connotations of ferality (92).

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