English Words of (Unexpected) Greek Origin.

Learn easily Greek using the roots of the English words.

Etymology of elixir

Posted by Johannes on 24 June 2012

The word elixir or philosopher’s stone, believed by alchemists to transmute baser metals into gold and/or to cure diseases and prolong life, comes from the Arabic al-iksir, from the late Greek xirion [powder for drying wounds; Gr: ξηρίον], from the Greek xiros [dry; Gr: ξηρός].
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In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) xiros: dry [Gr: ξηρός]
b) xirasia: drought [Gr: ξηρασία]
c) xira: land, mainland [Gr: ξηρά]
d) xirotita: dryness, aridity [Gr: ξηρότητα]
e) elixirio: elixir [Gr: ελιξήριο; loanword]

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