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Both words have origins meaning a gathering of flowers — one from Greek and one from Latin. Both appear to have the same definition. When should I use one rather than the other?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Florilegium is simply a Late Latin calque (a literal translation) of the Greek anthology. L flōs/flōris = Gk ἄνθος (anthos) "flower, blossom"; LL legium = Gk λόγος (logos), "subject matter".

In English we only use the Greek-derived term.

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Anthology is a relatively common word in contemporary English, but florilegium is not used. If you are writing a period piece, and you want to sound authentic, you could use florilegium, otherwise stick with anthology.

The COCA shows 1214 hits for anthology and 0 hits for florilegium.

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