English Words of (Unexpected) Greek Origin.

Learn easily Greek using the roots of the English words.

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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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