My goal is pretty much simple nonetheless challenging; I'm going to try and find as many English words as possible that are Greek. Challenge accepted. And trust me, there's a lot of them.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

B - Bicycle, Butter, Bio..., Bible.

Bicycle. From the Latin bi-, which means "two" and‎ Ancient Greek κύκλος, kuklos, circle, wheel. A vehicle that has two wheels, one behind the other, a steering handle, and a seat or seats and is usually propelled by the action of a rider’s feet upon pedals.

Butter. From Ancient Greek βούτῡρον, boútȳron, cow cheese. Compound of βοῦς, boûs, ox, cow and τῡρός, tyrós, cheese. A soft, fatty foodstuff made from the cream of milk (generally cow's milk).

Bio... The prefix bio- comes from the Ancient Greek word βίος, veos, which means life. Thus, every word with bio- as prefix has Greek roots.

Derived or related words: biology, biochemistry, bionic, biotechnology, biological, biosynthesis, biorhythm, biotic, biopsy etc.

Bible. From Ancient Greek βιβλίον, vevleon, small book, originally a diminutive of βίβλος, vevlos, book. A comprehensive manual that describes something.

Derived or related words: bibliography, biblical.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Eu... - Euphoria, Euphemism, Euphony, Eulogy, Eucalyptus, Euthanasia.

The prefix Eu- comes from the Ancient Greek word εὖ, which means well, good. So, most words starting with this prefix, are probably Greek. Some examples:


Euphoria. From Ancient Greek εὐφορία, euphoria, to bear well. From εὖ, eph, well, good + φέρειν, pherein, to bear. A good feeling, a state of intense happiness and joy.

Derived or related words: euphoric.

Euphemism. From Ancient Greek εὐφημισμός, euphēmismos, from εὖ, eph, well, good + φήμη, phēmē, rumor, talk. The use of a word or phrase to replace another with one that is considered less offensive, blunt or vulgar than the word or phrase it replaces.

Derived or related words: euphemistic.

Euphony. From Ancient Greek εὐφωνία, euphōnia, from εὖ, eph, well, good + φωνή, phonē, voice, sound. A pronunciation of letters and syllables which is pleasing to the ear. Good phonetic quality of certain words.

Derived or related words: euphonious.

Eulogy. From Ancient Greek εὐλογία, eulogia, praise. From εὖ, eph, well, good + λόγος, logos, speech. Speaking highly of someone; the act of praising someone. A speech to honor a deceased person at a funeral.

Derived or related words: eulogist, eulogize.

Eucalyptus. This beautiful tree, I believe, is known in many countries in this world. Its name is Greek, ευκάλυπτος, eucalyptos, from εὖ, eph, well, good + καλύπτω, I cover. Means easily covered.

Euthanasia. From Ancient Greek εὐθανασία, euthanasia, from εὖ, eph, good, easy + θάνατος, thanatos, death. The practice of intentionally and painlessly killing a human being or animal for humane reasons, especially in order to end great suffering or poor quality of life.
Derived or related words: euthanize.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

...mania, Megalomania, Kleptomania, Egomania, Nymphomania.

Mania. From Ancient Greek μανία, mania, madness. Violent derangement of mind, insanity, insane passion affecting one or many people.

Derived or related words: maniac, manic.

The word mania is used in a lot of words as a suffix. A few examples are:

Megalomania. From Greek μεγαλομανία, megalomania, from μεγάλος, megalos, big + μανία, mania, madness. A psycho-pathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.

Kleptomania. From Greek κλεπτομανία, kleptomania, from κλέπτω, klepto, steal + μανία, mania, madness. Obsession of stealing.

Egomania. From Greek εγωμανία, egomania, from ego + μανία, mania, madness. Obsession with someone's own (supposed) importance.

Nymphomania. From Ancient Greek νυμφομανία, nymphomania, from νύμφη, nymph (in Greek mythology a nymph was a minor deity represented as beautiful maiden) + μανία, mania, madness. A neurotic condition in women in which the symptoms are a compulsion to have sexual intercourse with as many men as possible and an inability to have lasting relationships with them.               

M - Magic, Metal, Meta..., Metabolism, Metaphor, Metastasis, Method.

Magic. From Ancient Greek μαγικός, magikos, magical, derived from μάγος, magos, magician. Allegedly supernatural charms, spells or other methods to dominate natural forces. Also used figuratively, something spectacular or wonderful.

Derived or related words: magician, magical, magically.

Metal. From Ancient Greek μέταλλον, métallon, from μεταλλεύειν, metalleuein, to mine. Any chemical element in the periodic table that form a metallic bond with other metal atoms; generally shiny and hard, often a conductor of heat and electricity.

Derived or related words: metallic, metalware.

Meta- is a Greek prefix (like para- tele- psycho-) meaning after, along with, beyond, among, and is used in many words, even medical, if you really think about it. Some of them:

Metabolism. From Ancient Greek μεταβολή, metavolē, change, from μετά-, meta-, with, across, after + βάλλω, vallō, to throw, to shoot. The chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that are necessary for the maintenance of life.

Derived or related words: metabolic, metabolize, metabolite.

Metaphor. From Ancient Greek μεταφορά, metaphora, from μεταφέρω, metapherō, I transfer. From μετά-, meta-, with, across, after + φέρω, pherō, I bear, carry. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison.

Derived or related words: metaphorical, metaphorically.

Metastasis. From Ancient Greek μετάστασις, metastasis, change, from μεθίστημι, methistemi, to remove, to change. From μετά-, meta-, with, across, after + ίσταμαι, histamai, to cause to stand, to place. Transmission of pathogenic micro-organisms or cancerous cells from an original site to one or more sites elsewhere in the body, usually by way of the blood vessels or lymphatics.

Derived or related words: metastatic, metastasize. 

Method. From Ancient Greek μέθοδος, methodos, pursuit of knowledge, investigation, from μετά-, meta-, with, across, after + ὁδός, hodos, way, motion, journey. A process by which a task is completed, a way of doing something. 

Derived or related words: methodical, methodology  

Monday, February 18, 2013

I - Idiot, Idiom, Idea, Idol, Idiosyncrasy, Irony.


Idiot. From Ancient Greek ἰδιώτης, idiōtēs, a private citizen, one who has no professional knowledge. From ἴδιος, idios, one's own, pertaining to oneself, private. Iδιώτης, idiōtēs, was used in ancient Athens to refer to one who declined to take part in public life.

Derived or related words: idiotic, idiotically.


Idiom. From Ancient Greek ἰδίωμα, idioma, a peculiarity, property, a peculiar phraseology. As the above, from ἴδιος, idios, one's own, pertaining to oneself, private.

Derived or related words: idiomatic, idiomatically.


Idea. From Ancient Greek ἰδέα, idea, notion, pattern. From εἴδω, eidō, I see. Also from the word idea derives the word ideal, optimal, being the best possibility and ideology, the body of beliefs or principles belonging to an individual or group.

Derived or related words: ideal, ideology, idealism, idealize, ideologue. 


Idol. From Ancient Greek εἴδωλον, eidōlon, image, idol. From εἶδος, eidos, form, image, shape. An image or representation of anything that is believed to convey spiritual power. A cultural icon, or especially popular person.

Derived or related words: idolize, idolatry.


Idiosyncrasy. From Ancient Greek ἰδιοσυγκρασία, idiosunkrasia, one’s own temperament. From ἴδιος, idios, one’s own + σύν, sin, together + κρᾶσις, krasis, temperament. A behaviour or way of thinking or language that is particular of a person or a group.

Derived or related words: idiosyncratic, idiosyncratically.

Irony. From Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία, eirōneia. From εἴρων, eirōn, one who feigns ignorance. A statement that, when taken in context, may actually mean something different from, or the opposite of what is written literally; the use of words expressing something other than their literal intention, notably as a form of humor.

Derived or related words: ironic, ironically.