Latin IS English!

March 11, 2008

A “Repertoire” of English Vocabulary Building Resources from Latin Root Words

“repertoire”  mp3

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 11, 2008 is:

repertoire • \REP-er-twar\  • noun 1 : a list of plays, operas, pieces, or parts which a company or performer is prepared to present *2 : a supply of skills or devices possessed by a person 

Example sentence: “She is a pastry chef whose repertoire ranges from chocolate-filled croissants to old-fashioned scones and chocolate chip cookies.” (Linda Giuca, Hartford Courant [Connecticut], January 31, 2008)

 

Did you know? The Late Latin noun “repertorium,” meaning “list,” has given us two words that can be used to speak of the broad range of things that someone or something can do. One is “repertory,” perhaps most commonly known as a word for a company that presents several different plays, operas, or other works at one theater, or the theater where such works are performed. “Repertoire,” which comes from “repertorium” via French, once meant the same thing as “repertory” but later came to refer to the range of skills that a person has under his or her belt, such as the different pitches a baseball pitcher can throw or the particular dishes that are a chef’s specialty. 

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

 

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