Gina Lawless Books

September 30, 2012

Speak English Please! Or Is It Greek?

Some years back, I took a medical terminology course that opened my eyeballs to a fact that I’m not sure many people know, or realize.  Those of you that do, I apologize profusely.

Our English language (one of the most widely used languages in the world) originates mainly from Greek and Latin words.  It consists of prefixes, root words and suffixes, to make one word with meaning.

Take the following words for example:






All these words have the Latin root word duc in common, which means to lead. We all know what they mean, but the neat thing is when broken down, we can see the formation of separate meanings.

Ab: means away

Intro: means within

Pro: means before or for

Re: means again or back

De: means away, down or removing

And then, we can’t forget our little suffix: tion, which means, the process of.

They all have the root word in common, but all have different meanings using a prefix. I think it’s absolutely stellar (Latin root word meaning star, and suffix meaning pertains to).

Constellation: Con: with or together   stell: star  and of course, let’s not forget tion: process of.  The process of stars together. The Latins and Greeks made it sound so simple, but the process of putting parts of words together to make different words and meanings is so cool, I find. I may sound like a weirdo, but this is fun for me. It’s never-ending how many words can be made.

Now, I’m going to make up a word, hopefully no one has seen before using a prefix, root word and a suffix. Those of you who write fantasy, comics or gamers may appreciate this. My word is: Maximacrochelanolysis

Break down please:

Maxim: greatest

Acro: pungent or sharp

Chelan: turtle

Lysis: to dissolve

So now, I’ve created a great big dissolving pungent turtle! The possibilities are endless to create fantasy characters, and monsters. Give it a try. Let’s see what you can come up with!



  1. I have fun with words too, but in a different way. The origin of words and phrases (etymology); for example, one of my favorites: History. . . . before history was recorded, it was only ‘his story’. Now rightly, it should also be ‘herstory’, but in true historic fashion, we ladies didn’t have much say about anything. I also love, ‘raining cats and dogs’ (thatched roofs, animals falling through when it rains), ‘don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater’ (the youngest was the last to bathe when they had to schlep water and baths were few and far between). I could go on and on because it’s cool, but I’ll spare you and attempt to focus on your challenge. . . .
    I’ve now been sitting for ten minutes and can’t think of any. You’re way more creative than I am 🙂 I’ll stick with etymology!

    Comment by Patricia Merker — September 30, 2012 @ 8:04 pm | Reply

  2. I did not know that about “raining cats and dogs”. See? We can learn from each other. Being the youngest, I always got last dibs on the bath water, so yeah. I distinctly remember landing on my head on the front lawn along with that filthy bath water. I’m going to go do some etymology research.

    Comment by Gina Lawless — September 30, 2012 @ 8:49 pm | Reply

  3. […] Speak English Please! Or Is It Greek? ( […]

    Pingback by Lost in Greek Translation | Ekaterina Botziou — October 26, 2012 @ 3:13 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: