Questions tagged [greek]

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

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Semantic connection behind the etymology of “category?”

Ancient Greek had agora, from which they got the verb agorevo, meaning to speak in public assembly. From this in turn they derived kategoreo, meaning to speak against someone, to accuse someone of ...
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Neolog / prefix for use with bubble+ology

I want to coin a word that means the study of financial bubbles. After learning that Bubbleology is some kind of metropolitan tea beverage, my immediate hunch of "Bubbleology" lost a great ...
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When did the word “demon” (for evil spirit) come into popular usage in the English language?

The English word "demon" has been found throughout the New Testament in modern bible translations since the 19th century. However, in the 16th and 17th century and earlier (Tyndale Bible, ...
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Is there a term to describe a human who has been turned into an animal by some external force or actor?

I am compiling a database of deities, mythological creatures, fairy tale or folkloric beings, and other similar entities, complete with categorisation based on various factors. In doing so, I have ...
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Synonyms for “impact ventilation” and “cross ventilation” of (West) Germanic roots (dead / alive / old / new)

A German "end of the year" 2020 overview of absurdities and rather funny trends mentions British "Corona talk" about the German words Stoßlüften = impact ventilation, Querlüften = ...
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57 views

Why do some words containing a form of “philia” have it at the beginning and some have it at the end?

There are words like “philosophy”, “philology”, “philanthropy”; these have a form of “philia” at the beginning. Why don't these words have it at the end? Also, there are words like “haemophilia”, “...
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A toned down term to replace “orthodoxy” in sociology of art

I think this community could help me a lot. In sociology of culture the term orthodoxy refers to ideas held by most and imposed by cultural institutions, so that the "doxa", or opinion, is ...
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1answer
107 views

What does the -mate suffix mean and where does it come from?

What does the suffix "-mate" mean? It makes a word into a verb, like with automate or decimate, but does it actually have a meaning? Is it perhaps Greek for "to make" or something?
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'polymorphic' is to “many changes” as ??? is to “many behaviors”?

In an OOP context, "polymorphic" is an imprecise description of class method overrides. The form (or shape) of the method is exactly the same as the base; the only thing that changes is the ...
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Is using the plural form (in place of the original singular) of these Latin/Greek loan words acceptable?

The following Latin/Greek singular vs. plural errors make me cringe every time: bacterium - bacteria criterion - criteria millennium - millennia phenomenon - phenomena It's extremely typical for an ...
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Word for “of or to do with groups”

I appreciate this is somewhat arbitrary, but humour me! I am trying to come up with a term that describes the following... I am working with "groups" of people. This is the informal definition, ...
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What is the proper prefix meaning “bone” or “skeleton”?

There are many borrowed words from Greek and Latin that are used as prefixes in English. Examples: pyro- relating to fire, hydro- relating to water, geo- relating to the earth etc. What is the ...
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Latin/Greek morpheme meaning 'fundamental'?

Is there a Latin or Greek prefix or suffix out there that can be added to a word to make it mean the fundamental from which everything is derived? Here's an example. You've got linguistics, that is ...
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64 views

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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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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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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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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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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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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245 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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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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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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379 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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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 seems to be a consensus on how Greek and Latin is ...
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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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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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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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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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109 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 ...
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121 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 ...
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1answer
135 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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543 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 ‘...
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199 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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359 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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7k 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
996 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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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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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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285 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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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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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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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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342 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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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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803 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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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
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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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467 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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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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216 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 ...