English Words of (Unexpected) Greek Origin.

Learn easily Greek using the roots of the English words.

Archive for August, 2011

Etymology of typhoon

Posted by Johannes on 30 August 2011

The word typhoon (violent storm, whirlwind, tornado), comes from the Greek typhon [whirlwind; Gr: τυφών], personified as a giant, father of the winds, perhaps from typhein “to smoke” (origin of the word typhus).
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In modern Greek (Romeika):

a) typhonas: typhoon [Gr: τυφώνας]

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Etymology of decade

Posted by Johannes on 30 August 2011

Decade, “ten parts” (of anything), comes from the old French décade (14c.), from the Latin decadem (nom. decas), from the Greek decas (gen. dekados) “group of ten.” Meaning “period of ten years” is 1590s in English. See also “etymology of dean” here .
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In modern Greek (Romeika):
a) decada: ten parts [Gr: δεκάδα]
b) decaetia: ten years period, decade [Gr: δεκαετία]
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Etymology of dime

Posted by Johannes on 30 August 2011

The word dime (coin worth one tenth of a US dollar, a 10 cent coin) comes from the old French disme (a tenth part), from the Latin decima [tenth (part)], from decem (ten), from the Greek deca (ten). See also “etymology of dean” here .
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Etymology of December

Posted by Johannes on 30 August 2011

The word December comes from the Latin December (tenth month of the old Roman calendar, which began with March), from decem (ten), from the Greek deca [ten; Gr: δέκα]. See also “etymology of dean” here .
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In modern Greek (Romeika):
a) Decembrios (better pronounced as Dekemvrios): December [Gr: Δεκέμβριος]

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Etymology of dean

Posted by Johannes on 30 August 2011

Dean comes from the old French deien, from the Latin decanus “head of a group of 10 monks in a monastery”, from earlier secular meaning “commander of 10 soldiers” (which was extended to civil administrators in the late empire), a transliteration of the Greek decanos [Gr: δεκανός], from deca “ten”. College sense is from 1570s.
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In modern Greek (Romeika):

 

a) deca: ten [Gr: δέκα]

 

b) deca-: deca- [Gr: δέκα-] (decathlon, decalogue etc.)

 

c) decaneas: corporal, leader of ten soldiers [Gr: δεκανέας]
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Etymology of mandolin

Posted by Johannes on 30 August 2011

Mandolin comes from the French mandoline, from the Italian mandolino, diminutive of mandola, a larger kind of mandolin, altered from the Latin pandura (a three-stringed lute), which is transliteration of the Greek pandura. See also post 186 (etymology of banjo).


In modern Greek (Romeika):

a) mandolino: mandolin [Gr: μαντολίνο; loanword]
Post 187.
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http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=mandolin&searchmode=none

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Etymology of banjo

Posted by Johannes on 28 August 2011

Origin of the word banjo
The word banjo (a stringed instrument with four or five strings, usually associated with country music) comes from the Portoguese bandurra, from the Latin pandura, which is a transliteration of the Greek pandura (a three-string instrument; Gr: παντούρα).

From the same root:

mandolin, banjulele

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 In modern Greek (Romeika)

 

a) banjo: banjo [Gr: μπάντζο; loanword]

b) mandolino: mandolin [Gr: μαντολίνο; loanword]

c) mandura: a folk music instrument [Gr: μαντούρα]

 

Post 186.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=banjo&searchmode=none

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