Latin IS English!

April 20, 2008

“What is this ‘Word of the Day’ all about?”, cried the “petulant” young man.

petulant mp3

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for April 20, 2008 is:

petulant \PET-chuh-lunt\  • adjective
1 : insolent or rude in speech or behavior *2 : characterized by temporary or capricious ill humor : peevish

Example sentence:
“‘What is it all about?’ cried Dorian in his petulant way, flinging himself down on the sofa.” (Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray)

Did you know?
“Petulant” is one of many English words that are related to the Latin verb “petere,” which means “to go to,” “to attack,” “to seek,” or “to request.” “Petere” is a relative of the Latin adjective “petulans” (“impudent”), from which “petulant” was derived. Some other words with connections to “petere” are “compete” and “appetite.” “Competere,” the Late Latin precursor to “compete,” is a combination of the prefix “com-” and the verb “petere.” The joining of “ad-” and “petere” led to “appetere” (“to strive after”), and eventually to Latin “appetitus,” the source of our “appetite.” Additional descendants of “petere” are “petition,” “perpetual,” and “impetus.”

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


April 7, 2008

“Vocabula Computatralia” (you got it: “Computer Vocabulary!”)

Here’s a sampling of computer vocabulary with original Latin roots.  For a complete “A to V” English-Latin dictionary of computer related vocabulary go here.  Or, see sidebar link “Vocabula Computralia” under English-Latin Resources.

Vocabula computatralia


abort 1vt interrumpere 2subst. interruptus,us m. address 1(memory location) subst. locus (memoriae, in memoria); numerus octeti 2(net location, URL) subst. inscriptio (interretialis vel interneti) 3(e-mail) subst. inscriptio (cursualis) electronica 4(to select a memory location) vt. locum (memoriae) eligere


boot 1subst. initiatio systematis; cold ~ initiatio frigida, initiatio e frigido; warm ~ initiatio calida, initiatio e calido. 2vt. initiare

browser 1(text viewer) subst. exhibitrum,i n. 2(Web viewer) subst. navigatrum,i n.


command subst. iussum,i n.; mandatum,i n. cursor subst. indicium,i n. cyberspace subst. spatium cyberneticum; cyberspatium,i n.


debug (to correct mistakes in a programvt. emendare delete vt. delere; eradere desktop subst. tabula,ae f. (systematis); mensa,ae f. disk 1. (physical device, disk drivesubst. discus,i m.; ~ image disci simulacrum 2. (hard disksubst. discus durus; discus rigidus; discus fixus 3. (floppy diskettesubst. discus flexibilis; disculus,i m.4. (CD-ROMsubst. discus compactus 5. (logical device, partitionsubst. volumen,inis n.; discus,i m. 6. (floppy disk drivesubst. statio disculorum

April 2, 2008

Let’s “Coalesce” around the “Word of the Day”


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for April 02, 2008 is: coalesce • \koh-uh-LESS\  • verb1 : to grow together 2 a : to unite into a whole : fuse*b : to unite for a common end : join forces 3 : to arise from the combination of distinct elements
Example sentence:The columnist urged party members to set aside their differences and coalesce around the candidate.
Did you know?  “Coalesce” unites the prefix “co-“ (“together”) and the Latin verb “alescere,” meaning “to grow.” (The words “adolescent” and “adult” also grew from “alescere.”) “Coalesce,” which first appeared in English in the mid-17th century, is one of a number of verbs in English (along with “mix,” “commingle,” “merge,” and “amalgamate”) that refer to the act of combining parts into a whole. In particular, “coalesce” usually implies the merging of similar parts to form a cohesive unit.
*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

“Vivacious” Living

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 31, 2008 is: vivacious • \vuh-VAY-shus\  • adjective: lively in temper, conduct, or spirit : sprightly
Example sentence:The hostess was a pretty, vivacious woman with a knack for making people feel comfortable.
Did you know?  It’s no surprise that “vivacious” means “full of life,” since it can be traced back to the Latin verb “vivere,” meaning “to live.” The word was created around the mid-17th century using the Latin adjective “vivax,” meaning “long-lived, vigorous, high-spirited.” Other descendants of “vivere” in English include “survive,” “revive,” and “victual” — all of which came to life during the 15th century — and “vivid” and “convivial,” both of which surfaced around the same time as “vivacious.” Somewhat surprisingly, the word “live” is not related; it comes to us from the Old English word “libban.”


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