English Words of (Unexpected) Greek Origin.

Learn easily Greek using the roots of the English words.

Posts Tagged ‘Learn Greek’

Etymology of plus, plural

Posted by Johannes on 1 January 2013

The word plus comes from the Latin plus (more) from the Greek pleos [more, in greater number, more than; Gr.: πλέος].

From the same root: 
plural, pluri- pluralism, plurarity, pluralize, pluralist, pleo- (pleomorphic etc), poly-, plethora


In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca)

a) pleon: more [Gr: πλέον]

b) pleonasma: surplus, excess [Gr: πλεόνασμα]

c) pleonasmos: pleonasm [Gr: πλεονασμός ]

d) pleonektima: advantage [Gr: πλεονέκτημα]

e) plethos: a lot of, a large number of [Gr: πλήθος]

f) plethintikos: plural [Gr: πληθυντικός]

g) plethismos: population [Gr: πληθυσμός]

h) plethora: plethora, plenty [Gr: πληθώρα]

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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 camera

Posted by Johannes on 2 June 2012

The word camera (a device that records and stores images; vaulted building), comes from the Latin camera (vaulted room), which is a transliteration of the Greek word camara (a vault, arched roof or ceiling, vaulted chamber; room). The word was also used as a short for camera obscura (dark chamber; a black box with a lens that could project images of external objects), and thus it became the word for “picture-taking device”.

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In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) camera: camera [Gr: κάμερα; loanword]
b) camara: arch, arcade [Gr: καμάρα]
c) camara: room [Gr: κάμαρα]

d) camariera: chambermaid [Gr: καμαριέρα]
e) camarini: dressing room, green room [Gr: καμαρίνι]

 

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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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 Post 213. More.

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Etymology of gas

Posted by Johannes on 16 April 2012

The word gas is simply a phonetic transcription of the Greek word chaos [Gr: χάος]. It was first used in the early 17th century by the chemist J.B. Van Helmont.
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In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) haos: chaos [Gr: χάος].
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Etymology of aria

Posted by Johannes on 16 April 2012

The word aria comes from the Italian aria, from the Latin aerem, accusative of aer (air), which is a transliteration of the Greek aer [air; Gr: αήρ]. See also etymolology of air here.
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In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) Aria: aria [Gr: άρια]

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Etymology of one

Posted by Johannes on 10 December 2011

The word one comes from the Latin unus, which in turn derives from the Greek oenos [one, ace in dice; Gr: οινός].
Note: Some etymologize unus from the gen. enos of eis [one; Gr: εις].

From the same root: unity, unique.

In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) enas:
one [Gr: ένας]
b) enotita: unity [Gr: ενότητα]
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Etymology of latex

Posted by Johannes on 3 December 2011

The word latex (liquid, body fluid) comes from the Latin latex (gen. laticis; liquid, fluid), which derives from the Greek latax (dregs, the remnant of wine flung into a vessel or on the ground; Gr: λάταξ).

In modern Greek (Romeika, Rumca):
a) latex: latex [loanword; Gr: λάτεξ]
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Etymology of dean

Posted by Johannes on 30 August 2011

Dean comes from the old French deien, from the Latin decanus “head of a group of 10 monks in a monastery”, from earlier secular meaning “commander of 10 soldiers” (which was extended to civil administrators in the late empire), a transliteration of the Greek decanos [Gr: δεκανός], from deca “ten”. College sense is from 1570s.
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In modern Greek (Romeika):

 

a) deca: ten [Gr: δέκα]

 

b) deca-: deca- [Gr: δέκα-] (decathlon, decalogue etc.)

 

c) decaneas: corporal, leader of ten soldiers [Gr: δεκανέας]
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Etymology of albatross

Posted by Johannes on 25 May 2011

Origin of the word albatross.
The word albatross comes from the Portuguese alcatraz (pelican) from the Arabic al-câdous or al-ġaţţās (a pelican), from the Greek word kados [jar; Gr: κάδος ] in reference to the pelican’s pouch. The spelling was influenced by the Latin albus (white).


In modern Greek (Romeika)
a) kados: jar [Gr: κάδος]
b) albatros: albatross [Gr: άλμπατρος; loanword].

Post 182.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=albatros&searchmode=none

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