Do you know where the words are derived from, which we use in English?

English is at the fingertips for most people and is necessary, too, to keep up with the pace of the changing world. Only some inquisitive minds would think of a more profound meaning to the words that are used by them. Others are so busy with the hustle and bustle of life they barely have time for anything rather than thinking of profits.

More or less, everyone can understand and speak basic English. What we don't know is where these words come from. While some comprise suffixes and prefixes in root words, others are stand-alone words borrowed from Greek or Latin.

Word Mixer

Some Greek and Latin Roots

Greek Roots Meaning Examples
Graph Writing Graphic, Phonograph
Auto Self Automobile, autobiography
Dys Hard, bad,Unlucky Dyslexic, Dysfunctional
Hetero Different Heterogenous, Heteronym
Logy Study of Biology, Anthropology
Mono One Monologue, Monotonous
Phon Sound Phonology, Symphony
Phil love MPhilanthropist, Philosophy
Techno Art, Science, Skill Technique, Technological
Therm Heat Thermal, Thermometer
Latin Roots Meaning Examples
cent One hundred Century, Percent
Aqua Water Aquarium, Aquamarine
Dict to say Dictation, Dictator
Fract To break Fracture, Fraction
Contra/ Counter Against Contradict, Encounter
Ject Throw Projection, Rejection
Mater Mother Maternity, Maternal
Circum Around Circumference, Circumstance
Ambi Both Ambiguous, Ambidextrous
Pater Father Paternal, Paternity

The Hidden Meaning Of Some Words

  • Whiskey
  • The word is borrowed from the Old English "usquebae," which is derived from the Gaelic phrase uisge, which means water and beatha means life. Therefore "whiskey's" literal meaning is "water of life."

  • Salary
  • This comes from the Latin word "salarium," which contains the root "sal," meaning "salt." This dates back to Ancient Roman soldiers who were paid in salt, which was a rare and valuable substance back then, instead of money.

  • Nightmare
  • The "mare" in the word refers to an evil spirit that causes feelings of suffocation in one's sleep. "Nightmare" came to be known as the feeling of anger caused by the evil spirit in the past, and eventually, it turned out to be a frightening dream.

  • Disaster
  • The word "Disaster" comes from the Middle French and Old Italian word "disastro," which stands for "star." It is a relic from the time when stars were believed to decide one's fate and cause calamities.

  • Sarcasm
  • This word is taken from the Greek verb "sarkazein," denotes "to tear flesh like a dog." That is the reason why sarcastic remarks are often considered to be "cutting" or "biting."


Having gained such information, one might wonder that everything we utter has a specific meaning, and the word itself is composed of different prefixes and suffixes added to the root word to form a word. Therefore English is not a singular creation. It is the result of continuous evolution and additions which keep coming to the already existing language.