The alt.usage.english FAQ
"Sincere" is sometimes said to derive from Roman quarrymen's
temporarily concealing imperfections in marble blocks by rubbing wax
on them. On its AOL message board, Merriam-Webster Editorial
Department wrote: "The theory that 'sincere' ultimately derives
from Latin _sine cera_, meaning 'without wax', is a popular one;
unfortunately, there is no evidence to support it. A far more
likely origin, in our view, is that the Latin word _sincerus_
derives from _sem-_ ('one') and _-cerus_ (akin to Latin _crescere_,
meaning 'to grow')."
Source: [Mark Israel, 'Word Origins: "sincere"', The alt.usage.english FAQ file,(line 4091), (29 Sept 1997)]
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