English Words of (Unexpected) Greek Origin.

Learn easily Greek using the roots of the English words.

Etymology of tardy, retardation

Posted by Johannes on 22 December 2012

The adj. tardy comes from the Latin tardus (slow, dull, stupid), which most probably derives from the Greek vradys/vradus (slow; Gr: βραδύς; vradus/vardus/tardus].
Others etymologize it from the Latin taru-dos from the v. teru-, from the Greek terys/terus [thin, weak, wιthout power; Gr: τέρυς]

From the same root: tardiness, tardily, retard, retardation, brady- (bradycardia, bradypnea, bradykinesia etc).

In modern Greek:
a) vradys (bradys): slow [Gr: βραδύς]

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Etymology of tarragon, estragon (Fr)

Posted by Johannes on 22 December 2012

Tarragon (estragon) is a plant whose aromatic leaves are used for flavoring. The word comes from the Byzantine* Greek tarchon. from the Arabictarhun, from the Greek drakontion (dragonwort), from the Greek drakon(dragon, snake).


French: estragon
Spanish: taragona
Italian: targone
Greek: estrago[Gr: εστραγκόν; loanword, reborrowing]

* The term Byzantine Empire is falsely used by some to describe the Roman Empire from the 4th to 15th century.

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Etymology of cabaret

Posted by Johannes on 22 December 2012

The word cabaret (lit. tavern) comes from the old French camberete, fromcambre, from the Latin camera, transliteration of the Greek camara. See also: “Etymology of camera” here, and “Etymology of chamber” here.

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Etymology of chamber

Posted by Johannes on 22 December 2012

The word chamber comes from the old French chambre (room, chamber), from the Latin camera (vaulted room), which is merely a transliteration of the Greek camara [Gr: καμάρα]. See also the post entitled “Etymology of camera”, here.

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Etymology of solid, soldier

Posted by Johannes on 24 June 2012

The word solid comes from the French solide (firm, dense, compact) from the Latin solidus/solus (firm, whole, entire), which is a transliteration of the Greek holos [whole; Gr: όλος].
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From the same root: solidus, soldier, solicit, solidarity, solidity, solicitor, holo- [holocaust, hologram, holograph etc], holism, holistic.
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In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) olos: whole, entire [Gr: όλος]
b) holisticos: holistic [Gr: ολιστικός]
c) oli: all, everybody [Gr: όλοι]
d) solido: solidus (coin) [Gr: σόλιδο]
 
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Etymology of exotic

Posted by Johannes on 24 June 2012

The word exotic (belonging to another country), comes from the French exotique from the Latin exoticus, which is a transliteration of the Greek exotikos [foreign, from the outside; Gr: εξωτικός], from exo [outside; Gr: έξω].
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From the same root: exoticism, exo- [exit, exodus, exogamous, exogenous, exophthalmic, exorcism, exoteric, exothermic, exterior etc].
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In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) exo: outside [Gr: έξω]
b) exodos: exit, exodus [Gr: έξοδος]
c) exoterico: exterior, abroad, outward appearance [Gr: εξωτερικό]
d) exoticos: exotic [Gr: εξωτικός]
e) exo- [exosi: eviction, ejection; exostis: balcony; exostrefia: extroversion; exosyzygicos: extramaterital; exoscholicos: adj out-of-school; exoterikefsi: exteriorization; exotico: fairy, elf; exofyllo: (book) cover; etc.]More. Post 222.

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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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Etymology of sophistication, sophisticated

Posted by Johannes on 24 June 2012

The word sophistication (use or employment of sophistry) comes from the Latin sophisticare (adulterate, cheat quibble) from the Latin sophisticus (of sophists), a transliteration of the Greek sophistikos (of or pertaining to a sophist), from the Greek sophistis (a wise man, master, teacher).

From the same root: sophist, sophisticate, sophisticated, sophism, sophistic, sophistry, sophomore

In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):

a) sophistis: sophist [Gr: σοφιστής]
b) sophisma: sophism, fallacy [Gr: σόφισμα]
c) sophistia: sophistry [Gr: σοφιστεία ]

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Etymology of canvas

Posted by Johannes on 2 June 2012

The word canvas (an extremely heavy-duty plain-woven fabric) comes from the old French canevas, from cannapaceus (made of hemp), from the Latin cannabis, a transliteration of the the Greek cannabis (hemp).

 
 
In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) camvas: canvas [Gr: καμβάς]
b) cannavis: hemp, cannabis [Gr: κάνναβις]
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Etymology of canteen

Posted by Johannes on 2 June 2012

The word canteen (store in a military camp) comes from the French cantine from the Italian cantina (wine cellar, vault) from the Latin canto (corner), which derives from the Greek word canthos(canthus, corner of the eye; Gr: κανθός).

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In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) canthos: canthus [Gr: κανθός]
b) cantina: canteen [Gr: καντίνα; loanword ]
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See also (in Greek) “Etymological Dictionary of Modern Greek” by G. Babiniotis p.628 and EP21.
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