Latin Quotes, Sayings, Tattoos, Phrases & Mottos

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.


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Nostalgia - etymology

 
Tuesday, January 8, 2008, 14:18 - Etymology and word roots, Ancient Greek Language, Latin Derivatives, Roots, Word Origins
Posted by Administrator
Seriously, where do these people get there etymologies from?

To make this quotation more understandable let me remind you that the word nostalgia is comprised of the Latin words “nostos (home) and “algia (fervent desire, longing).

http://www.hetq.am/eng/society/7447/

Ok, they got the 'algeo' part somewhat right. The verb means 'feel pain, to be sick, to be sorrowful'. But it's Greek, not Latin!

'Nostos' means (in Greek, mind you) 'a return' or, sometimes, 'a journey'.

Apparently, as long as you get the meaning of the whole thing right it does not matter what meanings you ascribe to different parts of the word or what language you claim these parts to derive from.

The Latin origin of "Celebrity" - another media gaffe

 
The word celebrity itself comes from the Latin word ‘celebritatem' meaning, literally, ‘condition of being famous.' Which means that people just have to recognise you for you to be a celebrity. The irony of course being that most celebrities strive for years to be famous, then wear dark glasses to avoid being recognised and moan constantly about actually being famous.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/506913-t ... rity?ln=en


Two points here. First of all, why is the Accusative Singular taken as the word from which English 'celebrity' comes from? Second, 'celebritas' literally means 'a multitude', 'a crowd', and the word itself stems from the verb 'celebro' - 'to go to a place often'.

New Year's contemplation

 
James Carroll in an op-ed article "New Year's brooding" (Boston Globe, Dec. 31, 2007) writes the following:

"The word contemplation has a Latin root, suggesting "time with," as if in contrast to chronology as time alone."
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/edito ... _brooding/

He goes on to develop some additional ideas based on this etymology. The trouble is that there is no connection between tempus and contemplation (which I am sure the author is implying). The word 'contemplatio' is akin to the word 'templum' (English "temple") which originally meant a large open space designated for auguries. Therefore, 'to contemplate' was to observe this space, in order to detect favorable or unfavorable signs, primarily based on the patters of birds' flight.

Honest mistake, no doubt. Too bad, there is no easy way to correct it. I don't think the Globe will be publishing a formal correction.

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