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"Homo" has two main meanings that I am aware of: "man" (e.g. "homo sapiens"), and "same" (e.g. "homogenous", "homosexual", etc.).

Those seem like pretty distinct meanings, but I am curious to know if their etymology has a common ancestor at some point. Basically, how did "homo" come to have these two very distinct meanings?

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"Homosexual" derives from Greek, where "homo" means "same." It's similar to the word "homogeneous."

"Homo sapiens" derives from Latin, where "homo" means "man." It's similar to the Spanish word "hombre," and the oft-quoted scriptural passage "Ecce homo."

  • Thanks for the links to etymology online. Didn't realize that it existed. – Jim Clay Mar 3 '17 at 15:52

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