The core idea of this root was:
being strong, powerful
This idea went straight into the Latin verb valere, and it broadened toward the idea of being legit and having value.
This verb is the origin of a whole range of words like valor, valid, value, equivalent and prevail.
Besides this branch, the root is also the origin of to wield and of a bunch of well known names like Arnold, Donald, Ronald, Walter, Volodymyr and Valerie.
Here’s an (incomplete) overview of the English relatives:
- wield (“rule, having power over”)
- valor (“power”)
- valid, validate,… (“having power”)
- value, evaluate, DFV… (a form of power basically)
- ambivalent (“multiple values”)
- equivalent (“equal value”)
- prevalent (“power in front, dominating”)
- prevail (“power through”)
- Donald (“deep value”… I know someone who would get an orgasm over this)
- Ronald (“ruling power”)
- Arnold (“eagle power”)
- Volodymyr, Vladimir (“strong peace”… irony is strong)
- Gerald (“spear wielder”)
- Harold (“army power”)
- Walter (“ruler or army”)
- Valerie (“the powerful, the worthy”)