More than 150,000 words of English derived from Greek words & Greek was being spoken hundreds of years before the English language or Anglo-Saxon peoples ever reached its shore

03/05/2017

cruiseathensHow many words derived from Greek have you used today? British Council teachers,explain why English owes so much to the Greek language.Antique, idol, dialogue, geography, grammar, architect, economy, encyclopaedia, telephone, microscope… all these common English words have something in common: they’re derived from Greek.

To this list, we could add thousands more words, some common and others less so. Clearly, the Greek language has had an important influence on the English language. Let’s take a closer look.

A very brief history of the Greek language

Greek is one of the oldest Indo-European languages and according to Peter T. Daniels, the Ancient Greeks were the first to use a ‘true’ alphabet, that is, one representing both vowels and consonants. Indeed, the word ‘alphabet’ is formed of the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, ‘alpha’ and ‘beta’.

What English owes to the Greek language

The Oxford Companion to the English Language states that the ‘influence of classical Greek on English has been largely indirect, through Latin and French, and largely lexical and conceptual and the other explanation is that the city of Carlisle was one the first colonies in U.K on 1100 BC,judging by surviving inscriptions, seems to have been home to a thriving Greek community and it is a matter of historical record then,that Greek was being spoken in England hundreds of years before the English language or Anglo-Saxon peoples ever reached its shores….’.

According to one estimate, more than 150,000 words of English are derived from Greek words. These include technical and scientific terms but also more common words like those above.

Words that starts with ‘ph-‘ are usually of Greek origin, for example: philosophy, physical, photo, phrase, philanthropy.

Many English words are formed of parts of words (morphemes) that originate from the Greek language, including the following examples:

phobia (fear of), as in arachnophobia – the fear of spiders
micro (small), as in microscopic – so small it’s hard to see
demos (people) as in democracy – government by the people.
AFTER = Από το ομηρικό αυτάρ= μετά. Ο Όμηρος λέει: “θα σας διηγηθώ τι έγινε αυτάρ”.
AMEN = λατινικά: amen. Το γνωστό αμήν προέρχεται από το αρχαιότατο ή μήν = αληθώς,
(Ιλιάδα Ομήρου β291-301), ημέν. Η εξέλιξη του ημέν είναι το σημερινό αμέ!
BANK = λατινικά pango από το παγιώ, πήγνυμι. Οι τράπεζες πήραν την ονομασία τους από
τα πρώτα ‘τραπέζια’ (πάγκους) της αγοράς…
BAR = λατινικά: barra από το μάρα = εργαλείο σιδηρουργού.
BOSS = από το πόσσις = ο αφέντης του σπιτιού.
BRAVO = λατινικό, από το βραβείο.
BROTHER = λατινικά frater από το φράτωρ.
CARE = από το καρέζω.
COLONIE από το κολώνεια = αποικιακή πόλη.
DAY = Οι Κρητικοί έλεγαν την ημέρα ‘δία’. Και: ευδιάθετος = είναι σε καλή μέρα.
DISASTER = από το δυσοίωνος + αστήρ
DOLLAR = από το τάλλαρον = καλάθι που χρησίμευε ως μονάδα μέτρησης στις ανταλλαγές.
π.χ. «δώσε μου 5 τάλλαρα σιτάρι». Παράγωγο είναι το τάλληρο, αλλά και το τελλάρo!
DOUBLE = από το διπλούς – διπλός.
EXIST = λατινικά ex+sisto από το έξ+ίστημι= εξέχω, προέχω.
EXIT = από το έξιτε = εξέλθετε
EYES = από το φάεα = μάτια.
FATHER = από το πάτερ (πατήρ).
FLOWER = λατινικά flos από το φλόος.
FRAPPER = από το φραγκικό hrappan που προέρχεται από το (F)ραπίζω = κτυπώ (F=
δίγαμμα).
GLAMO UR = λατινικό gramo ur από το γραμμάριο. Οι μάγοι παρασκεύαζαν τις συνταγές
τους με συστατικά μετρημένα σε γραμμάρια και επειδή η όλη διαδικασία ήταν γοητευτική
και με κύρος, το gramo ur -glamou r , πήρε την σημερινή έννοια.
HEART, CORE = από το κέαρ = καρδιά.
HUMOR = από το χυμόρ = χυμός (Στην ευβοϊκή διάλεκτο, όπως αναφέρεται και στον
Κρατύλο του Πλάτωνος, το τελικό ‘ς’ προφέρεται ως ‘ρ’. Π.χ.
σκληρότηρ αντί σκληρότης).
I = από το εγώ ή ίω, όπως είναι στην βοιωτική διάλεκτο.
ILLUSION = από το λίζει = παίζει.
ΙS = από το είς.

KARAT = εκ του κεράτιον, (μικρό κέρας για τη στάθμιση βάρους).
KISS ME = εκ του κύσον με = φίλησέ με ( …;είπε ο Οδυσσέας στην Πηνελόπη).
LORD = εκ του λάρς. Οι Πελασγικές Ακροπόλεις ονομάζονταν Λάρισσες και ο διοικητής
τους λάρς ή λαέρτης. Όπως: Λαέρτης – πατέρας του Οδυσσέα).
LOVE = λατινικό: love από το ‘λάFω’. Το δίγαμμα (F) γίνεται ‘αυ’ και ‘λάF ω ‘
σημαίνει “θέλω πολύ”.
MARMELADE = λατινικά melimelum από το μελίμηλον = κυδώνι.
MATRIX = από το μήτρα.
MATURITY = λατινικά: maturus από το μαδαρός= υγρός.
MAXIMUM = λατινικά: maximum από το μέγιστος.
MAYONNAISE = από την πόλη Mayon, που πήρε το όνομά της από το Μάχων = ελληνικό όνομα
και αδελφός του Αννίβα.

ME = από το με.
MEDICINE = λατινικά :medeor από το μέδομαι, μήδομαι = σκέπτομαι, πράττω επιδέξια.
Και μέδω = φροντίζω, μεδέων = προστάτης.
MENACE = από το μήνις.
MENTOR = από το μέντωρ.
MINE = από το Μινώαι (= λιμάνια του Μίνωα, όπου γινόταν εμπόριο μεταλλευμάτων.
«Κρητών λιμένες, Μίνωαι καλούμεναι». (Διοδ.Σικελ.Ε’84,2).
MINOR = λατινικά: minor από το μινύς = μικρός. Στα επίσημα γεύματα είχαν το μινύθες
γραμμάτιον, ένα μικρό κείμενο στο οποίο αναγραφόταν τι περιελάμβανε το γεύμα.
Παράγωγο το …; menu!
MODEL = από το μήδος= σχέδιο (η ίδια ρίζα με τη μόδα (= moda ).
MOKE = από το μώκος = αυτός που χλευάζει.
MONEY = λατινικό: moneta από το μονία = μόνη επωνυμία της Θεάς Ήρας:
Ηραμονία. Στο προαύλιο του ναού της Θεάς στη Ρώμη ήταν το νομισματοκοπείο και τα
νομίσματα έφεραν την παράστασή της, (monetae).
MOTHER = από το μάτηρ, μήτηρ.
MOVE = από το ομηρικό αμείβου = κουνήσου!
MOW = από το αμάω = θερίζω.
NIGHT = από το νύχτα.
NO = λατινικό: non, ne εκ του εκ του νη: αρνητικό μόριο (“νέ τρώει, νέ πίνει”), ή (
νηπενθής = απενθής, νηνεμία = έλλειψη ανέμου.
PAUSE = από το παύση.
RESISTANCE = από το ρά + ίστημι.
RESTAURANT = από το ρά + ίσταμαι = έφαγα και στηλώθηκα.
RESTORATION = λατινικά restauro από το ρά+ίστημι, όπου το ρά δείχνει συνάρτηση,
ακολουθία, π.χ. ρά-θυμος, και ίστημι = στήνομαι.
SERPENT = λατινικά serpo από το έρπω (ερπετό). H δασεία (‘) προφέρεται ως σ =
σερπετό.
SEX = από το έξις. Η λέξη δασύνεται και η δασεία μετατρέπεται σε σίγμα και = s +
έξις.
SIMPLE = από το απλούς (η λέξη δασύνεται).
SPACE = από το σπίζω = εκτείνω διαρκώς.
SPONSOR από το σπένδω = προσφέρω ( σπονδή).
TRANSFER από το τρύω (διαπερνώ) + φέρω. Transatlantic = διαπερνώ τον Ατλαντικό.
TURBO = από το τύρβη = κυκλική ταραχώδης κίνηση.
YES = από το γέ = βεβαίως.
WATER = από το Ύδωρ (νερό), με το δ να μετατρέπεται σε τ.
A great example of the influence of the Greek language are the two speeches written in English but actually consisting of only Greek words (with the exception of articles and prepositions) by the former Prime Minister Prof. Xenophon Zolotas, who was also an economist.
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