English Words of (Unexpected) Greek Origin.

Learn easily Greek using the roots of the English words.

Archive for April, 2012

Etymology of griffon, griffin

Posted by Johannes on 16 April 2012

Griffon is a type of dog. The word griffon (also griffin or gryphon) comes from the old French grifon from the Latin gryphus / grypus, a transliteration of the Greek gryphon / gryps [Gr: γρύφων; lit. curved, hook-nosed], a legendary mythological creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.

In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) grypas: griffin, legendary creature [Gr: γρύπας]
b) grifon: griffon [Gr: γριφόν; loanword]
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Etymology of crypt

Posted by Johannes on 16 April 2012

The word crypt (vault, cavern) comes from the Latin crypta (vault, cavern), from the Greek crypte, fem. of cryptos [hidden; Gr: κρυπτός], verbal adj. from cryptein [to hide, to conceal; Gr: κρύπτειν]. See also “etymology of grotesque” here.
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From the same root:
cryptic, crypto-, cryptogam, cryptogram, cryptographer.
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In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) crypte: crypt [Gr.: κρύπτη]
b) crypto (or cryvo): to hide, conceal, secrete [Gr.: κρύπτω or κρύβω].
c) cryptographos: cryptographer [Gr.: κρυπτογράφος]
d) cryptographima: cryptogram, coded message [Gr.: κρυπτογράφημα]
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Etymology of grotesque

Posted by Johannes on 16 April 2012

The adj. grotesque comes from the French crotesque from the Italian grottesco, (lit. “of a cave,”), from grotta, from the Latin crypta (vault, cavern), which is a transliteration of the Greek crypte [crypt, hidden place; Gr: κρύπτη]. Initially the phrase “figura grottesca” (or “pitture grottesche”) was referring to the paintings of the caves.
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In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) grotesco: grotesque [Gr.: γκροτέσκο; loanword]
b) crypte: crypt [Gr.: κρύπτη]
c) crypto (or cryvo): to hide, conceal, secrete [Gr.: κρύβω]

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Etymology of graffiti

Posted by Johannes on 16 April 2012

The wοrd graffiti comes from the Italian graffiti, plural of graffito (a scribbling), from graffiare (to scribble) from the Greek grafein (to write, to draw, to scratch; Gr: γράφειν].
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From the same root: -graphy (eg. geography), graphologist, graphic, praphics, graphite .
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In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) grafo: (to write, to draw, to scratch, to type; Gr: γράφω].
b) grapsimo: handwriting [Gr: γράψιμο]
c) graphologos: graphologist [Gr: γραφολόγος]
d) engrafo: document, deed [Gr: έγγραφο]
e) graphica: graphics [Gr: γραφικά]
f) graphites: graphite [Gr: γραφίτης]

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Etymology of gas

Posted by Johannes on 16 April 2012

The word gas is simply a phonetic transcription of the Greek word chaos [Gr: χάος]. It was first used in the early 17th century by the chemist J.B. Van Helmont.
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In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) haos: chaos [Gr: χάος].
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Etymology of aria

Posted by Johannes on 16 April 2012

The word aria comes from the Italian aria, from the Latin aerem, accusative of aer (air), which is a transliteration of the Greek aer [air; Gr: αήρ]. See also etymolology of air here.
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In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) Aria: aria [Gr: άρια]

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Etymology of carrot

Posted by Johannes on 16 April 2012

The word carrot comes from the old French carrotte, from the Latin carota, which is a transliteration of the Greek caroton (carrot; Gr: καρωτόν).

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In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):

a) caroto: carrot [Gr: καρώτο]

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From the same root: carotene, carotenoids

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