That's English? It's All Greek to Me! August 07, 2014 00:00

There is a reason why English is perhaps the mostly widely understood language in the world and is often the official language of much international business and government interactions - it contains words, phrases and grammatical tricks that have been borrowed, lifted, modified or flat-out stolen from other world languages, including the "Romantics" like Greek, Latin, Spanish, Italian, etc.

But with hundreds of thousands of words in the English language, and English being used for dozens of generations now, it's next to impossible to know where some words originate  without looking in a dictionary. There are even some words that have been borrowed so much that there's debate as to the actual origin of the original word.

But just so you know, in case you think Greek is a unique language all its own, we'd like to help connect you to the Greek culture, even if you have no Greek in your family! If you speak or otherwise use any of these words, then you are in effect speaking with a Greek dialect!

Check out this partial list of English words that have known Greek origins. Some of these will make sense, but do some of these surprise you?

  • anarchy
  • amphitheater
  • ambidextrous
  • antique
  • ancient
  • anatomy
  • philanthropy
  • antagonist
  • architect
  • automatic
  • autograph
  • authentic
  • chronic
  • cosmopolitan
  • democracy
  • demographic
  • dynamite
  • dynasty
  • euphemism
  • eulogy
  • encyclopedia
  • Bible
  • paraphrase
  • symphony
  • epithet
  • hypothesis
  • dialogue
  • gentle
  • petroleum