Why do Oppress, Suppress and Depress have the same last syllable?

I usually get confused between those words, when I want to use them while speaking. They are very close to each other, yet they have completely different meaning (at least from my mother tongue perspective) I’m sure that if we dig into the roots of these words, we will find something common either from a … Read more

Etymology of “fairy”

All the standard dictionaries–with the notable exception of the OED–seem to trace the etymology of fairy through Old French fae to Latin fata, meaning “the fates” or “the goddess of fate”. As a classical languages major with primary focus on Latin, I find this etymology of fairy doubtful. I can buy the origin from French, … Read more

How does the latin root of “egregious” relate to its English definition?

The latin root of the word egregious is grex meaning flock which is also the root of many other English words that deal with groups or “flocks” (usually of people): aggregate, congregate, segregate, gregarious… But I don’t see how the definition of egregious has anything to do with a flock or group. egregious [ih-gree-juh s] … Read more

what does to word ‘crete’ mean in English?

In my native language, words are created using ‘Root Words’ + ‘Prefixes/suffixes’. Also the root words make sense for us. Is English the same? For example I think the word ‘crete’ is the root and ‘dis,con & …’ are its prefixes creating the words ‘concrete’ or ‘discrete’. And does the word ‘crete’ have meaning related … Read more

What roots does the word ‘paradice’ have, and why has it been changed to ‘paradise’ and since when?

What roots does the word paradice have? Why has it been changed to paradise and since when? Are there any other English words that had such a transformation? Answer Paradise was sometimes spelled with a C in Middle English, though it usually was spelled with S: I wold not be in a folis paradyce. (Paston, … Read more

Word or intuitive neologism for “(unhealthy) infatuation with gold”

The easy picks: greed avarice They get the message across, but are too general. I want a word that narrows the meaning to only gold — not just desire for wealth / material gain. I tried a neologism: aurumphelia but google only turned up 7 results, leading me to conclude it’s too much of a … Read more