Questions tagged [greek]

Topics related to the Greek roots of English, Greek loanwords, and etymologies thereof.

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Numeral prefixes of tidal constituents [closed]

If tidal constituents with frequencies of one, two, three, and four cycles per day (respectively, periods of one, a half, a third, and a fourth of a day) were to be termed systematically based on ...
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2answers
147 views

Where did the English 'indefinite article' come from, and why?

I came across a previous question (Why does English have an indefinite article ?) about the origins of the English indefinite article which question was closed due to it being posed in an - ironically ...
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5answers
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Word for knowing what to do and not doing it

I think most will agree it's a really common human condition: Knowing what to do and not doing it. I recently found a word that describes this condition and now have lost that word. I would ...
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4answers
2k views

What is the Greek etymology for “-on” in words like “proton” and “neutron”? [closed]

Google says "proton" is from "protos" and "-on" ("first" + "being"), or "πρῶτος" and "?". What is the "-on" in Greek, is it "ὤν" or "ἐν" or something?
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2answers
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Term for anticipating counterarguments and rebutting them

There's this term for the rhetorical device of anticipating counterarguments and rebutting them, but I simply can't remember it. Now I know what you're thinking - did you try googling it? Well I did,...
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2answers
2k views

Why doesn't English employ an H in front of Ares?

While watching the movie The Martian, a question arose regarding the name Ares: Greek Gods were metaphrased into Latin when Romans took over. Ares (from the Greek Άρης) was now named Mars, and so on. ...
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2answers
189 views

Spelling of helium vs beryllium

Why is one of those spelled with a single L and not the other? For the etymology of Beryllium name it's unclear but could be either Greek or Latin, and Helium is named after Helios (so Greek here).
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1answer
125 views

Does “angular cheilitis” have any more commonly used synonyms than “perlèche” or “rhagades” which regular people would recognize?

The field of medical pathology uses the term angular cheilitis. I’m looking for a common word or phrase to use in place of this highly specialized technical term that I fear is likely to be known only ...
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33 views

How can James Joyce's 'word' “egourge” be seen, via Greek, as “worker for the self” or “self-employed”?

In Finnegans Wake, James Joyce uses the 'word' egourge (p.g. 49-50), which syntactically yields ego-urge, which makes sense semantically. Finnwake.com claims that egourge also derives from "egoourgos ...
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1answer
106 views

How did a Greek 'table' become an English 'trapeze'?

I had cause to investigate the word trapeza in Greek and I was intrigued as to how it had evolved into the meaning of 'trapeze' as we use it in modern English. How did this happen ?
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1answer
102 views

What rules govern the romanisation of Greek υ

English is troubled by what appears to be an unsystematic plethora of spelling rules, not to mention the rules for pronunciation. In general, there seem to be a consensus on how Greek and Latin is ...
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214 views

Connection between the words Apollo, Apollyon, and Apologise

I've tried researching this topic before, in re Apollo, the Greek god son of Leto and Zeus and twin brother of Artemis, and its possible connection with the "angel of the bottomless pit" as referenced ...
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2answers
845 views

In search of the origins of term censor, I hit a dead end stuck with the greek term, to censor, λογοκρίνω

I have been looking in OED for a history that makes sense, yet, I just find crumbs, and I can not piece the history of this term. I am hitting a dead end researching the greek term to censor, named ...
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5answers
4k views

What is the opposite of “eschatology”?

Eschatology is the study or philosophy of formation of ideas about the end of things, apparently derived from the Greek ἔσχατος meaning "last" and -λογία meaning "study of". What is the word for "the ...
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2answers
100 views

What's the relationship of Ursa Minor/Little Dipper to dogs?

Recently happened again upon the word "cynosure" and noted it's Greek etymology, e.g. from Wordsmith.org: Originally the term was applied to the constellation Ursa Minor or the North Star (Polaris) ...
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1answer
66 views

Fill in the blank: “I say this with no _____ of pride” (Answer was “modicum”)

To help make this all make sense, there is a word I am looking for--I can hear it in my mind and I can say it with my lips. But I can find no source. The phrase I hear is, "I say this with no ...
3
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1answer
113 views

Shouldn't “some of the phenomenon” be plural?

The paragraph: Our team conducts fundamental research in Philosophy, trying to push the boundaries of what is possible with new techniques, and also trying to understand and formalize some of ...
0
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1answer
77 views

What is the word for when something is currently unavailable?

I think it starts with L (also maybe latin origin) For example I'm waiting to get a package but I'm not even sure package has been even sent. So package is in L... (maybe not best example, I'm not ...
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0answers
476 views

Opposite of '-cracy/-archy'?

Something + -cracy/-archy (“strength, power”) produces a word meaning ‘rule by those who are/have/were whatever the something is’. For example, ‘plutocracy’ is pluto- (“wealth”) + -cracy and means ‘...
3
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1answer
159 views

'Androcracy'/'gynocracy' are hyponyms of, and 'oligocracy'/'oligarchy' is a hypernym of, what term?

What is the term for an oligocratic/oligarchic political system—one in which power is held by a subset of the overall population—where the power allocation is based on one's sex? A society run by men ...
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2answers
272 views

Status of 'hypophora' as a word

I participate in other SE forums where it's common practice for experienced or knowledgeable participants to simultaneously submit both a question and an answer. This can be very helpful in technical ...
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2answers
4k views

Is there an etymological explanation for the silent ‘g’ in “paradigm”?

Whenever I come across the word paradigm, I have to make a small conscious effort not to pronounce the letter ‘g’. In Italian, it is spelled paradigma and each letter is individually pronounced i.e. ...
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1answer
584 views

The etymology of 'substance'. Does it mean 'sub'-'stance'?

I am aware of the etymological fallacy and aware that the fallacy itself, also, does not always hold good. In other words, a word's pedigree may, or may not, be the reason it means what it means, ...
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7answers
253 views

English equivalent of Greek “Έλα ντε;”

I kind of use this phrase a lot when speaking Greek, and sometimes I feel the need to say it when speaking English as well but cannot think of a good candidate, as a non native English speaker, I also ...
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3answers
124 views

Pronouncing “collacon”

What might be the correct pronunciation of the word collacon: KOL.a.kon or KOL.a.son? A collacon being a compilation of brief details related to a subject. Seemingly coined (collection + laconia = ...
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2answers
204 views

Is the pro in processor Latin or Greek? [closed]

I want to describe single processor and many processor systems, and it seems like "uniprocessor" and "multiprocessor" are the accepted terms. However the "pro" in process looks Greek to me, which ...
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3answers
1k views

Is “acediast” too rarefied to be acceptable in literature? [closed]

I'm editing a manuscript where the word "acediast" appears a perfect fit, but Merriam-Webster is the only online dictionary I can find that lists it as a word, with the exception of a few scrabble ...
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2answers
143 views

Analogous versus analogue: why the extra “o” after the “g”?

Why does the word analogous have an extra letter o after the g in comparison to the word analogue? How is their origin related to one another? According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the ...
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2answers
205 views

Why doesn't “astronomy” end with an “s”?

I heard that many disciplines whose names end with the letter “s” as if they were plural actually came from Greek/Latin words of plural form (e.g. mathematics from mathematika). It seems like, however,...
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1answer
281 views

Meanings of pathetic words (derived from πάθος)

Originally, pathos (πάθος) meant "suffering" and "pain". Today, there are (at least) three main branches of meaning: pathological (having to do with desease) as in pathology, psychopathy, sociopathy, ...
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1answer
4k views

Homeo- or homoeo-?

"Homeo-" seems to be more widely used nowadays to the extent that "homoeo-" is listed as a variant of it, and "homoeostasis" is listed as a variant of "homeostasis". However, there are multiple posts ...
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1answer
630 views

Where did the Greeks get their word “bio” from? [closed]

Is it possible that it comes from the junction of the word: "bi" and the Greek letter" "Omega", literally translating to "two of everything"?
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2answers
3k views

Are words with “cata-” and “ana-” prefixes related?

While revising Greek vocab, it suddenly struck me that the words "ανα" (up) and "κατα" (down) form the basis of some pairs of words such as "catabolic" (chemical reactions where things are broken down)...
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1answer
70 views

What is the term for deliberately forcing a not-quite-grammatical parallelism?

There is a fairly common figure of speech where one deliberately imposes a parallel structure that is not quite grammatical. For instance, consider the question "Is A less, equal, or greater than B?" ...
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2answers
389 views

-actic or -acic?

I noticed some time ago that the words climax and thorax, though both from Greek roots, take different suffixes for "concerning —": -actic and -acic, respectively. A quick Google revealed one more ...
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2answers
2k views

Was the -s in Athens originally the plural -s?

In Greek and Latin, some cities, like Athens and Thebes, are pluralia tantum, that is, they are always plural. In English, on the other hand, both names are singular, at least in modern English. It ...
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2answers
156 views

What would be the word for “government by angels”?

Google just gives me the James Madison quote when I research this. The Federalist No. 51 says: It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of ...
11
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3answers
697 views

Is there an etymological link between medicine and the ancient greek μειδησεν (μειδαω) meaning laugh or smile? [closed]

Is there an etymological link between medicine and the Ancient Greek μειδησεν (μειδαω) meaning laugh or smile (as seen in Book 1 of the Iliad)? I hope this is the correct place to ask this. I ...
2
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1answer
852 views

How to pronounce “Ephemerides”?

I've always pronounced "Ephemerides" (plural of Ephemeris) using four syllables, the fourth being "Ides" as in the "Ides of March". But in this talk at a few seconds after 10:10, it is pronounced ...
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2answers
162 views

Why is -o- used to connect demographic entities?

Consider Indo-China, Indo-US, Indo-European, Afro-American, Sino-American. Why is O used to connect the two areas ?
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3answers
765 views

Which is more accepted: “hoi polloi”, or “the hoi polloi”?

I've seen that both 'hoi polloi' and 'the hoi polloi' can be used. Does anyone know which is more accepted or correct? Or are they the same?
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1answer
208 views

Is there an English verb that comes from the Greek ἀσθενέω (astheneó: to be weak or feeble)?

From Wiktionary: 3. (with infinitive) to be too weak to do a thing, to be unable Sample using this definition: This friction <astheneo-s> to resist the force. An answer in the negative counts.
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2answers
1k views

Quadpod or tetrapod? [closed]

If you have a 'pod' with two legs, you get a bipod. Three legs and you get a tripod. Is a four legged pod more correctly called a quadpod, tetrapod or something else?
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3answers
496 views

Correct Word Usage: Parametra vs Parameters [closed]

I am used to referring to 'parametra' instead of 'parameters', however, trying to justify it this morning, I was stumped. Lots of articles say that 'parameters' is the only correct plural; following ...
2
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0answers
451 views

single-letter translation from Greek letters to English letters?

Is there a well accepted way to represent each Greek letter using only one English letter? I'm asking because I often needed to use English to represent Greek letters, e.g., when Greek font is absent....
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3answers
1k views

Andrea - (fe)male name

When and why did Germanic languages (and more in general, languages outside Italy) started to use Andrea as a female name? To my rough understanding of Greek, this is a male name, which comes from the ...
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1answer
238 views

apodictic vs. apodeictic

Looking through the Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (part of the Oxford Style Manual, I was suprised to read in its dictionary part the following entry on page 619a: apodictic clearly ...
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4answers
6k views

Podiatrist vs. pedometer vs. pedophile?

I was just discussing oddities of English with a friend, and I realized something that neither of us could explain. A podiatrist is a foot doctor. A podium is something you stand behind when giving ...
3
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1answer
654 views

Why 'hippo-paw-tamus?'

The ruminations of an idle mind: Several English words such as potion, potable, potables, poison, derive from the Latin root potare, poto "to drink". In all cases these words are pronounced with a ...
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1answer
207 views

Is an English word coined from Greek morphemes considered a loanword by native speakers of Greek?

Europeans and Americans often use Greek roots to coin new words for new concepts. For example, the telephone was invented in the United States of America, and the word telephone is itself derived from ...