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"The prefix 'ur' itself is the name of the city Ur, which German
archeologists thought for many years to be the oldest city. It is in the
Iraqi Tigris/Euphrates area. American bombers successfully flattened it."
Jan Henning wrote:
> Ur was the town where Job lived (as in "The Book of Job" and "the
> of Job"). It's often used in the sense of "the oldest" or "the
> ("ur-man")--almost like "proto-man".
> The meaning is described correctly, the etymology isn't
> (according to Chambers dictionary): "Ur-" is a German
> prefix meaning "the protoypical" or "the oldest". It has
> been borrowed in this meaning by the English. "Ur-"
> appears to have common roots with "out".
... and where do you suppose the Germans got this prefix?