Re: Graeco-Latin hybrids
|From:||R A Brown <ray@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, October 22, 2005, 9:16|
Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
> R A Brown skrev:
>> I was a bit surprised however that it seems to be only the Danish
>> version of Wikipedia that gives it:
>> Metronym (egentlig metronymikon). Fra græsk metra (livmoder) og -onyma
>> Familienavn dannet af moderens navn (i modsætning til patronym).
> Actually I think they have it wrong. _Livmoder_ means 'womb' (uterus).
Ah - yes, my Danish is not too good. I just saw -moder ;)
Yep, _me:tra:_ was one of the ancient Greek words for 'womb' (the other
was _delphys_). Hence the English prefix metr(o)- in _metritis_ and
Yes, I agree, they surely have it wrong. The prefix me:tro- was pretty
productive in Greek:
me:trodaktos - taught by one's mother
me:trokoite:s - one who commits incest with one's mother
me:toktonein - to kill one's mother, commit matricide
me:trokom:mia - mother-village, the chief village in a district
me:trome:to:r - maternal grandmother
me:tropato:r - maternal grandfather
me:tropolis - mother-state (in relation to her colonies, or
Of these only metropolis AFAIK has come into English.
What a language we have! Three different prefixes, all with the same
1 = 'womb', as in metritis, metrorrhagia.
2 = 'mother', as in metropolis, metronym.
3 = 'measure', as in metrology, metronome.
As well, of course, as the noun _metro_ = "an underground
railway,especially the Paris subway".
Yep - I do know the latter was originally an abbreviation for 'chemin de
fer métropolitain'. Which brings us back to Mum again ;)
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