Ancient Greek words used in English

ancient GR in english

Did you know that there are more than 150.000 words of Greek origin used in the English language? Most of them come straight from ancient Greek and from enlightened Greek people of ancient times.

Let’s have a closer look:

democracy

As the idea of democracy was born in Greece, it should be the first reference that seems fair to share. Democracy is a combination of the word demos (δήμος) which means people, and kratos (κράτος) meaning power. Like most ancient Greek words, its etymology directly connects to its meaning. Democracy means people with power.

planet

It totally makes sense if you think that most planets have ancient Greek names. Coming from the Greek verb planomai (πλανώμαι), its meaning is “to wander.” Ancient Greeks had a different perception of the world, many times connecting astronomy with religion and myths. For them, planets were simply wandering stars in the universe.

melancholy

Pronounced almost the same in English and Greek. It comes from the words melas (μέλας) meaning “black” and khole (χολή) meaning bile. Ancient Greeks were convinced that if your spleen produces a certain amount of black bile you are starting to feel moody.

Just a small taste of the thousands of words that are used in English and derive directly from ancient Greek.

This means that you actually speak Greek even if you don’t know it.

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