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Etymology The Modern English word right derives from Old English riht or reht, in turn from Proto-Germanic *riĻ‡taz meaning "right" or "direct", and ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *reg-to- meaning "having moved in a straight line", in turn from *(o)reg'(a)- meaning "to straighten or direct".<ref>wikt:right</ref> In several different Indo-European languages, a single word derived from the same root means both "right" and "law", such as French droit,<ref>wikt:droit</ref> Spanish derecho,<ref>wikt:derecho</ref> German Recht.<ref>wikt:recht</ref> and Italian diritto.

Many other words related to normative or regulatory concepts derive from this same root, including correct,<ref>wikt:correct</ref> regulate,<ref>wikt:regulate</ref> and rex<ref>wikt:rex#latin</ref> (meaning "king"), whence regal<ref>wikt:regal</ref> and thence royal.<ref>wikt:royal</ref> Likewise many more geometric terms derive from this same root, such as erect (as in "upright"),<ref>wikt:erect</ref> rectangle (literally "right angle"),<ref>wikt:rectangle</ref> straight<ref>wikt:straight</ref> and stretch.<ref>wikt:stretch</ref> Like right, the English words rule<ref>wikt:rule</ref> and ruler,<ref>wikt:ruler</ref> deriving still from the same root, have both normative or regulatory and geometric meanings (e.g. a ruler as in a king, or a ruler as in a straightedge).

Several other roots have similar normative and geometric descendants, such as Latin norma,<ref>wikt:norma#latin</ref> whence norm,<ref>wikt:norm</ref> normal,<ref>wikt:normal</ref> and normative<ref>wikt:normative</ref> itself, and also geometric concepts such as normal vectors; and likewise Greek ortho<ref>wikt:ortho</ref> and Latin ordo,<ref>wikt:ordo</ref> meaning either "right" or "correct" (as in orthodox, meaning "correct opinion"<ref>wikt:orthodox</ref>) or "straight" or "perpendicular" (as in orthogonal, meaning "perpendicular angle"<ref>wikt:orthogonal</ref>), and thence order,<ref>wikt:order</ref> ordinary,<ref>wikt:ordinary</ref> etc.

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