Wednesday, November 16, 2011

the power of etymology

In a previous post, I talked about how etymology can be helpful in figuring out a word's meaning. In that post, I mentioned how often I came across that Latin root anima, which means "soul" or "mind." Here's another anima word:


Can you figure out its meaning?

equa-/equi- = even, balanced, level, equal

anima = mind, soul

A person who evinces equanimity is "of an even mind." In plainer language-- level-headed.

Lightsaber in hand, Kenobi faced the hulking, fanged beast before him. The monster bellowed and readied itself to charge, but the Jedi was the picture of equanimity.

Or how about:

onus = burden (straight from the Latin)

onerous (same root) = burdensome

exonerate = take out from under a burden-- specifically, to remove from under the burden of guilt

Carter was exonerated when the court determined that no evidence existed to implicate him.

Make etymology work for you.


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