Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help Forum. Speaking of Etymology, Dictionary.com says: Ice has cognates in Germanic languages and is ultimately from Proto-Germanic. Beowulf used an Old English form of it around 723. Freeze has a similar background and its sense of chill or be chilled was first used in a phrase meaning, "It is so cold that water turns to ice." English is a Germanic language.
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Posted by Writeacher on Saturday, August 25, 2007 at 11:01am in response to science.
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From that last link:
O.E. is "ice," from P.Gmc. *isa- (cf. O.N. iss, O.Fris. is, Du. ijs, Ger. Eis), with no certain cognates beyond Gmc. Slang meaning "diamonds" is attested from 1906. Ice cream is first recorded 1688 (as iced cream); icing in the sugary sense is from 1769; ice cube first recorded 1929. To break the ice "to make the first opening to any attempt" is from 1590, metaphoric of making passages for boats by breaking up river ice though in modern use usually with implications of "cold reserve."
If you look at the approximate dates for Old English and Middle English, you'll see why there is no way to give an exact time of origin.
Old English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_English_language
(Middle English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_English )
Also, in bold above, it states that there are "no certain cognates beyond Gmc" -- which tells you that that's as far back as etymologists seem to be able to trace this word.
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