English Words of (Unexpected) Greek Origin.

Learn easily Greek using the roots of the English words.

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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