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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: >> {quote} >> Metronym (egentlig metronymikon). Fra græsk metra (livmoder) og -onyma >> (navn). >> >> Familienavn dannet af moderens navn (i modsætning til patronym). >> {/quote} > > > 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 _metrorrhagia_. 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 'daughter-states') Of these only metropolis AFAIK has come into English. What a language we have! Three different prefixes, all with the same form metr(o)- 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 ;) -- Ray ================================== ================================== MAKE POVERTY HISTORY