Etymology lesson of the week

11Sep06

1. The word warrior is to war as what word is to jihad?

Answer:
A person who makes war is a warrior, whereas a person who undertakes jihad – which means “struggle” in Arabic – is a mujahid; several of them are called mujahidin.

2. How many baskets are there in a Dodekathronon?

Answer:

The word Dodekathronon derives from the Greek dodeka, twelve [from duo, two and deka, ten] and thronos, high seat. More here.

Your lesson this week has been brought to you by Moot Game. A game about semantics, etymology and grammar.

Last week’s lesson.

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7 Responses to “Etymology lesson of the week”

  1. It is funny that in a dictionary of new words, the word “Emporiatrics” is analyzed as coming “from the Latin word Emporium and the English word Iatrics”… The arrogance of ignorance!

  2. Oh it’s very common! Did you find this in a specific one? If so let me know. Ax, i agnoia tou kosmou.

  3. 3 Trashmouth

    This looks to be a Greek word, so I wonder why it would have a Latin root (duo), when dodeka is sufficient. Isuppose one could argue that duo is Greek, too. But the difference between dodeka and duodecim is obvious. Just playing with the words…

  4. 4 Trashmouth

    Why is the upsilon dropped from duo anyway?

  5. When combining two words in greek, you will mostly see an ‘o’ in between them. So in this case the result would come to “duodeka”, meaning two tens, 2 x 10 etc.
    I am not professional in the field, but the accentuation would fall on the ‘o’ in “duodeka” which almost sounds like “dwdeka” – maybe it was dropped – simply as that, maybe there is a complex syntax reason.
    I’m curious now.

  6. ‘Εψαξα να το βρω απόψε αλλά δεν το βρήκα στη βιβλιοθήκη μου. Ή το έχω δανείσει (αμάλλον απίθανο) ή έχει ανακατευτεί με άλλα βιβλία σε άσχετη θέση (τα λεξικά τα έχω όλα μαζί). Θα το ξαναψάξω αύριο.

  7. Dodeka is certain to originate in “dyo + Deka” (=12). Ypsilon and “U” often seem to alternate with each other between Greek and Latin. Besides, even in Greek, transformations occur, over time, that lead to changes such as this one [y+o= ω (omega)].


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