Hypocrite: False pretender to virtue of religion

Hypocrite: Is a word that’s been in English since the 16th century CE and comes from old French (around 1200 CE) when its meaning was ‘False pretender to virtue of religion’. It has its basis in the Greek word ‘hypokrinestai’, which was ‘To play a part’. ‘Hypokrinestai’ came from two Proto-Indo-European words; ‘Hypo’ still used…

Lagoon – pond-like Venice

The word ‘lagoon’; highlights an interesting habit of the English language; when borrowing words from French, we loved to add emphasis and our own special touch – in this case (and many with many other words borrowed from French), it’s replacing a perfectly good word ending with ‘oon’. The word borrowed here was ‘lagune’ which…

Quarantine: From French, meaning ’40 days’

Quarantine: From the French ‘quarante’ meaning 40 days, it was originally applied to the period of 40 days where a widow was allowed to stay in her home after her husband had died.This in turn was from the Latin ‘quadraginta’, itself meaning forty. The word gained its current meaning when it was applied to a…