The origins of words have long intrigued me. If you watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you already know that the origins of all words (at least to Gus Portokalos) began in Greek.¬†This topic came from our favorite vocabulary nerd, the Word Lady, in her blog post, “All is well in my cosmos.”

Etymology (in Greek: etumon, defined as the true sense of a word) is the study of the history of words. Etymology analyzes the component parts of words by identifying their origins in other languages. The etymology of botanical terms rests in Greek and Latin word bases, sometimes called roots and stems (ba dum tish). Word bases are modified by prefixes in front, and suffixes behind.

Sometimes the problem with finding the origins, however, is that you discover that the pronunciation has morphed over the years to fit in with the vernacular of the day, or the particular usages.

Melody K. Smith

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