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.

Friday, December 28, 2012

E - Echo, Elephant, Epic, Ethics, Etymology, Energy, Epilepsy, Erotic, Electric, Eccentric, Ebony.

Echo. From Ancient Greek ἠχώ, ēkhō, from ἠχή, ēkhē, sound.A reflected sound that is heard again by its initial observer.

Derived or related words: echogenic, echogram etc.

Elephant. From Ancient Greek ἐλέφας, eléphās. The known mammal.

Derived or related words: elephantiasis.


Epic. From Ancient Greek ἐπικός, epikos, from ἔπος, epos, meaning a word, a story. An extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a deity or demigod or other hero. Also as an adjective, meaning momentously heroic, grand in scale or character.

Derived or related words: epically.


Ethics. From Ancient Greek ἠθική, ēthike, from ἠθικός, ēthikos, from ἦθος, ēthos, character, moral nature. The study of principles relating to right and wrong conduct.

Derived or related words: ethical, unethical, ethically, ethicist.


Etymology. From Ancient Greek ἐτυμολογία, etumologia, from ἔτυμον, etumon, true sense and -λογία, -logia, the study of something. An account of the origin and historical development of a word.

Derived or related words: etymological, etymologically.

Energy. From Ancient Greek ἐνέργεια, energeia, action, act, work. From ἐνεργός, energos, active, from ἐν, en, in + ἔργον, ergon, work. The force behind all motion and all activity.

Derived or related words: energetic, energetically, energize.

Epilepsy. From Ancient Greek ἐπιληψία, epilēpsia, from ἐπιλαμβάνω, epilambanō, I seize. From ἐπί, epi, upon + λαμβάνω, lambanō, I take. A medical condition in which the sufferer experiences seizures and blackouts.

Derived or related words: epileptic.

Erotic. From Ancient Greek ἐρωτικόςerōtikos, from ἔρως, erōs, sexual love. Relating to or tending to arouse sexual desire or excitement.

Derived or related words: erotically, eroticism, erotica.

Electric. From Ancient Greek ἤλεκτρον, ēlektron, amber, related to ἠλέκτωρ, ēlektor, shining sun. Of, relating to, produced by, operated with, or utilising electricity; electrical.

Derived or related words: electrical, electrically, electricity.

Eccentric. From Ancient Greek ἔκκεντρος, ekkentros, from ἐκ, ek, out + κέντρον, kentron, point. Having a different center. (Of a person) deviating from the normal, behaving unexpectedly or differently. 

Derived or related words: eccentricity, eccentrically.

Ebony. From Ancient Greek ἔβενος, ebenos. A hard, heavy, deep black wood from various subtropical and tropical trees. Also a deep, dark black colour.

Eco... - Economy, Ecology, Ecotourism, Ecosystem

All words starting with the prefix Eco- are Greek. Eco- comes from Ancient Greek οἶκος, oikos, which means house, household. A few examples are:


Economy. From Ancient Greek οἰκονομία, oikonomia, management of a household, administration. From οἶκος, oikos + νόμος, nomos, law. Effective management of the resources of a community or system.
Derived or related words: economic, economical, economist, economize, economically  etc.

Ecology. From Ancient Greek οἰκολογία. From οἶκος, oikos + -λογία, -logia, study of something. The branch of biology dealing with the relationships of organisms with their environment and with each other.

Derived or related words: ecologic, ecological, ecologist, ecologically.


Ecotourism. From οἶκος, oikos + tourism. Responsible travel to natural areas supporting the fauna, flora, and local economy.

Ecosystem. From οἶκος, oikos +  σύστημα, sustēma,, organised whole, body. From σύν, syn, with, together + ἵστημι, histēmi, I stand. A system formed by an ecological community and its environment that functions as a unit. 
Derived or related words: ecosystemic.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

H - History, Hydro-, Horoscope, Hero.

History. From Ancient Greek ἱστορία, historia, learning through research, narration of what is learned. From ἱστορέω, historeō, to learn through research, to inquire. From ἵστωρ, histōr, the one who knows, the expert.

Derived or related words: historian, historic, historically, prehistory, historiography etc.

Hydr(o)-. From Ancient Greek ὑδρο-, hydro-, from ὕδωρ, hydor, water. Consequently, all words with hydr(o)- as a prefix are Greek. 

Derived or related words: hydrogen (from hydro- and γεννάω, gennaō, I bring forth, to life), hydrate/hydration (to take up, consume or become linked to water/the process of providing an adequate amount of water to body tissues), hydroelectric (from hydro- and electric, something that generates electricity by converting the energy of moving water), hydrodynamic (from hydro- and dynamic, operated by the force of water in motion), hydroxide (from hydro- and oxide, an univalent anion (OH-1) based on the hydroxyl functional group, hydrolysis (from hydro- and lysis, a chemical process of decomposition involving the splitting of a bond and the addition of the hydrogen cation and the hydroxide anion of water).

Horoscope. From Ancient Greek ὡροσκόπος, hōroskopos. From ὥρα, hōra, hour and σκοπός, skopos, watcher. The position of the planets and stars at the moment of someone's birth; a diagram of such positions.

Hero. From Ancient Greek ἥρως, hērōs, demi-god. A real or mythical person of great bravery who carries out extraordinary deeds

Derived or related words: heroic, heroism, heroin, heroically.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

T - Trauma, Toxic, Thermos, Theater, Therapy, Theory.

Trauma. From Ancient Greek τραῦμα, trauma, wound, damage. Any serious injury to the body, often resulting from violence or an accident. An emotional wound leading to psychological injury.

Derived or related words: traumatic, traumatize, traumatology.

Toxic. From Ancient Greek τοξικόν, toxikon, φάρμακον, pharmakon, poison for use on arrows. From τοξικός, toxikos, pertaining to arrows or archery, from τόξον, toxon, bow. Having a chemical nature that is harmful to health or lethal if consumed or otherwise entering into the body in sufficient quantities.

Derived or related words: toxicology, toxicity, toxin.

Thermos. From Ancient Greek θερμός, thermos, warm. A bottle which can keep liquids at a desired temperature. 

Derived or related words: thermometer (from thermos + meter, measuring the temperature), thermodynamic (from thermos + dynamic, conversion of heat into other forms of energy), thermoelectric (from thermos + electric, conversion of heat into electricity) thermostatic (from thermos + static, maintaining a consistent temperature).

Theater. From Ancient Greek θέατρον, théatron, a place for viewing. From θεάομαι, theáomai, to see, to watch, to observe.

Derived or related words: theatrical, theatricality.


Therapy. From Ancient Greek θεραπεία, therapia, medical treatment, from the verb θεραπεύω, therapeuō, I treat medically.
The treatment of a disease or a disability, physical or mental.

Derived or related words: therapeutic, therapist, chemotherapy, psychotherapy etc.


Theory. From Ancient Greek θεωρία, theōria, contemplation, speculation, from θεωρέω, theōreō, I look at, view, consider, examine. From θέα, thea, a view + ὁράω, horaō, I see, look. A mental conception, reflection, consideration.

Derived or related words: theorem, theoretical, theorize.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Words with -philia as their second compound are Greek and their meaning expresses an abnormal liking or tendency towards something. From Ancient Greek φιλία, filia, meaning fraternal love. It is the exact opposite of words ending with -phobia, seen here

Asphyxophilia. From Greek words asphyxia, stopping of the pulse and -philia. Literally, the love of asphyxia. A sexual practice, generally not terminal (and even then probably only accidentally), of arranging to produce asphyxia at the moment of orgasm.

Kleptophilia or Kleptomania.  From Ancient Greek κλέπτης, thief, from κλέπτω, steal. Obsession of stealing, and feeling sexually aroused in doing so.

Bibliophilia. From Ancient Greek βιβλίον, biblíon, small book. The love of books.

A - Asphyxia, Atmosphere, Astronomy, Air, Airplane, Aerial, Aerodynamic, Airbase.

Asphyxia. From Ancient Greek ἀσφυξία, stopping of the pulse: ἀ-, not and σφύξις, sphexes, heartbeat. From σφύζω, I throb.

Derived or related words: asphyxiate, asphyxiation, asphyxiating, asphyxiated.

Atmosphere. From Ancient Greek ἀτμός, atmós, steam and σφαῖρα, sphaĩra, sphere. The gases surrounding the Earth or any astronomical body.

Derived or related words: atmospheric, atmospherically.

Astronomy. From Ancient Greek ἀστρονομία, astronomia, from ἄστρον, astron, star and νόμος, nomos, arranging, regulating, related to νέμω, nemō, I deal out

Derived or related words: astronomic, astronomical, astronomically, astronomer.

Air. From Ancient Greek ἀήρ, aér, wind, atmosphere. Now you can imagine that most of the words coming from "air", are also Greek. 

Derived or related words: airplane, aerial, aerodynamic, airbase.

Airplane (alteration of aeroplane). From Ancient Greek ἀερόπλανος, wandering in air, from ἀήρ, aēr, air and πλάνος, planos, wandering.

Aerial. From Ancient Greek ἀέριος, aerios. Of, in or from the air. Atmospheric.

Aerodynamic. From Ancient Greek ἀέριος, aero and dynamic, δυναμικός, powerful. From δύναμις, power, from δύναμαι, I am able. Having a shape that reduces drag when moving through the air.

Airbase. From Ancient Greek ἀήρ, aér and βάσις, base. A military airport, providing housing and support for aircraft and personnel.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

C - Chaos, Criteria, Crystal, Cyan, Cynic, Cycle, Cyclone, Cylinder, Center, Cord, Card, Clone, Cardiac.

. From Ancient Greek χάος, khaos, vast chasm, void. A condition or place of great disorder or confusion.

Derived or related words: chaotic, chaotically.

Criteria. The plural form of criterion, formed according to the Ancient Greek  κριτήριον, kriterion, a test, a means of judging. From κριτής, krites, a judge. From κρίνω, krinō, I judge.

Derived or related words: criterion.

Crystal. From Ancient Greek κρύσταλλος, krestallos, ice. From κρύος, kreos, frost. A piece of glimmering, shining mineral resembling ice or glass.

Derived or related words: crystalline, crystallite, crystallization, crystallize, crystalloid.

. From
Ancient Greek κύανος, kyanos, dark blue, dark blue enamel. A greenish blue, one of the subtractive primary.

Derived or related words: cyanide, cyanogen, cyanosis, cyanotic.

. F
rom Ancient Greek κυνικός, kynikós, originally derived from the portico in Athens called Κυνόσαργες, Kynosarges. Of or relating to the belief that human actions are motivated only or primarily by base desires or selfishness. Skeptical of the integrity, sincerity, or motives of others.

Derived or related words: cynical, cynicism, cynically.

. F
rom Ancient Greek κύκλος, kyklos, circle. An interval of space or time in which one set of events or phenomena is completed. A complete rotation of anything.
(Also recycle. From re-, again and‎ cycle, see above. To break down and reuse component materials.)

Derived or related words: cyclic, cyclone, cyclist, bicycle, tricycle.

. From Ancient Greek κυκλώνω, kyklono, to completely rotate. From κύκλος, kyklos, circle. A system of winds rotating around a center of low atmospheric pressure.

Derived or related words: cyclonic.

. From Ancient Greek κύλινδρος, kylindros. From κυλίνδειν, to roll. A surface created by projecting a closed two-dimensional curve along an axis intersecting the plane of the curve.

Derived or related words: cylindrical, cylindrically.

Center. From Ancient Greek κέντρον, kéntron. From κεντεῖν, to prick, goad. The point in the interior of a circle or sphere that is equidistant from all points on the circumference.

Derived or related words: centered, centering, central, centrally. 

Cord. From Ancient Greek χορδά, khorda, Ionic χορδή, khorde, string of gut, the string of a lyre. Also, a small flexible electrical conductor composed of wires insulated separately or in bundles and assembled together usually with an outer cover.

Derived or related words: cordial, cordially.

Card. From Ancient Greek χάρτης, chartēs, paper, papyrus. Any flat, normally rectangular piece of stiff paper, plastic etc.

Derived or related words: cardboard, postcard etc.

. From Ancient Greek κλών, klōn, twig. A living organism (originally a plant) produced asexually from a single ancestor, to which it is genetically identical.

Derived or related words: cloning.

. From Ancient Greek καρδιακός, kardiakos. From καρδιά, kardia, heart. Relating to the heart.

Derived or related words: cardiology, myocardial, pericardium.

Monday, February 20, 2012

M - Melody, Music, Muses, Muscle, Mathematics, Melancholy.

A melodic, mathematical post. Enjoy the knowledge!

. From Ancient Greek μελῳδία, melōdiā, singing, chanting. From μέλος, mélos, member, part of a group + ἀοιδή, aoidḗ, song, contracted form ᾠδή, ōidḗ. A pleasing succession or arrangement of sounds.

Derived or related words: melodic, melodious, melodiously, melodiousness.

. From Ancient Greek μουσική, mousike, art of the Muses.

Derived or related words: musical.


Muses. From Ancient Greek αἱ μοῦσαι, hai moũsai, in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature, are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths. The nine muses were: Clio, Thalia, Erato, Euterpe, Polyhymnia, Calliope, Terpsichore, Urania, Melpomene.

Muscle. From Ancient Greek μς, mus, mouse, muscle, mussel because of the mouse like appearance of some muscles. A tissue composed of fibers capable of contracting to effect bodily movement.

Derived or related words: musculus, muscular.


Mathematics. From Ancient Greek μαθηματικός, mathematikos, fond of learning. From μάθημα, máthema, knowledge, study, learning.

Derived or related words: mathematical, mathematically.

Melancholy. From Ancient Greek μελαγχολία, melancholia, atrabiliousness. From μέλας, melas, μελαν-, melan-, black, dark, murky + χολή, chole, bile.

Derived or related words: melancholic.