English Words of (Unexpected) Greek Origin.

Learn easily Greek using the roots of the English words.

Archive for August, 2013

Etymology of video, vision, visit

Posted by Johannes on 11 August 2013

The word video comes from the Latin video (I see), from the Greek verb ideo[to see; Gr: ιδέω].

From the same root: vision, visible, visit, idea

In modern Greek:
a) ido: to see; fut. of “I see” [Gr: ιδώ]
b) idea: idea [Gr: ιδέα]
c) video: video (loanword) [Gr: βίντεο]

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Etymology of villa, village, vicinity

Posted by Johannes on 11 August 2013

The word villa comes from the Italian villa (country house, villa), from the Latin villa (country house, farm), from vicus (house, village, group of houses) from the Greek oecos [house; ie. eco-logy; Gr: οίκος].

From the same root: village, vicinity, villain, villainous, villainy, eco- (eco-logy, ecosystem, eco-nomy etc)

In modern Greek:
a) icos:house [Gr: οίκος]
b) icologia: ecology [Gr: οικολογία]
c) icosystima: ecosystem [Gr: οικοσύστημα]
d) iconomia: economy  [Gr: οικονομία]

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Etymology of similar

Posted by Johannes on 11 August 2013

The word similar comes from French similaire, from the Latin similis (like), from Old Latin semol (together), from the Greek omalo(semalos*) [even, same; ομαλός]

From the same root: similarity, same

In modern Greek:
a) omalos: even, plain [Gr: ομαλός]
b) omios: same [Gr: όμοιος ]

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* Kouvelas : Etymological and explanatory dictionary of the Latin language.

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Etymology of gondola

Posted by Johannes on 11 August 2013

The word gondola comes from the Old Italian gondula, from the late Latincondua (gondola) from the late Greek condura (small boat) from the Greek adjective conduros [condos + ura; with short tail].* Others etymologize gondola from the Greek condy [Gr: κονδύ], a kind of glass.*

In modern Greek:
a) gondola: gondola [Gr: γόνδολα]

* Babiniotis Etymological Dictionary of Modern Greek

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Etymology of gamut

Posted by Johannes on 11 August 2013

The word gamut originally “lowest note in the medieval musical scale,” in the system of notation devised by Guido d’Arezzo, contraction of Medieval Latin gamma ut, from gamma, the Greek letter, indicating a note below A, + ut (later do), the low note on the six-note musical scale that took names from corresponding syllables in a Latin hymn for St. John the Baptist’s Day:
Ut queant laxis resonare fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum
Solve polluti labii reatum,
etc. Gamut came to be used for “the whole musical scale;” the figurative sense of “entire scale or range” of anything is first recorded 1620s.

In modern Greek:
a) gamma: the Greek letter gamma [Gr: γάμμα; γ ]
b) gama: gamut, spectrum, range [Gr: γκάμα]

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Etymology of gum

Posted by Johannes on 11 August 2013

The word gum (resin), comes from the Old French gome “(medicinal) gum, resin,” from the Latin cummi, a transliteration of the Greek commi [gum; Gr:κόμμι]. As a shortened form of chewing gum, first attested 1842 in American English.

In modern Greek:
a) gomma: gum, ruber, eraser [Gr: γόμμα]

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Etymology of galley

Posted by Johannes on 11 August 2013

The word galley comes from the Old French galie, from Medieval Latingalea, from the Late Greek galea, from gale(a kind of fish; Gr: γαλέη).

In modern Greek:
a) galera: galley [Gr: γαλέρα]
b) galeos: tope [a kind of fish; Gr: γαλέος]

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Etymology of antelope

Posted by Johannes on 11 August 2013

The word antelope comes from the Old French antelop, from Medieval Latin ant(h)alopus (11c.), from Greek antholops (attested in Eusebius of Antioch, c.336 C.E.), a fabulous animal haunting the banks of the Euphrates, very savage, hard to catch and having long saw-like horns capable of cutting down trees.

In modern Greek:
a) antilopi: antelope [Gr: αντιλόπη]

 

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