I introduce you… Domna Fortuna.
Which allows me to micro-blog on my use of ‘Domna’ here instead of ‘Domina’, which would be the proper Latin word for it.
Have you ever heard of “lexical renewal”? Yeah, that’s a process that involves ALL languages.
Words tend to be spoken. That is a fact.
As they get used, they slowly morph. It can happen in many ways. A word too short will become longer. A word a tad too long will be shortened. Words that totally lost their primary meaning will be utterly replaced.
The Latin word for ‘sun’ was ‘sol’. It was too short and could easily be confused with other words on the long run. Therefore, a diminutive was added to give ‘solellus’ (which basically means ‘little sun’). It later gave ‘soleil’ in French (see, it was shortened here!).
The word ‘caput’, meaning ‘head’, progressively lost its primary meaning and was slowly replaced by ‘testa’ (a kind of jar). It gave ‘tête’ in French.
Fun fact, nowadays we use ‘tête’ in French to describe many things beyond a physical and bodily head. We come up with new words to describe it such as ‘tronche’, ‘trogne’ or ‘gueule’. Those are very familiar words but such was also ‘testa’ in Latin at first!
‘Domina’ belonged to the words that were shortened and gave ‘domna’ (a word already used by native Latin speakers in the 1st century AD). It would later turn into ‘doña’ in Spanish or ‘dame’ in French.
Latin had little use of possessive articles such a ‘my’ or ‘mine’. They became very common though for later European languages since the declinations fell out of use. Therefore ‘domina mea’ gave way to ‘madame’ or… ‘madonna’!
Didn’t you just learn something cool?