Latin to know
Grex totus in agris unius scabie cadit.
diseased sheep spoils the flock.
Definition: characteristic of a much earlier or primitive period.
Sentence: Anglo Saxon, the archaic form of English, flourished in England for several hundred years
before giving way to an influx of languages influenced by Latin.
Definition: antiquated; out of date
Sentence: The scythe was made archaic by Cyrus McCormick’s invention of the mechanical reaper
Adj: archetypal; archetypic;
Definition: An original model or type from which similar forms are copied.
Sentence: Anthropologists have identified archetypes that appear in cultures throughout the world:
the earth mother, the holy child, the wise old man, and the sky or sun god.
Greek – Pelagos – sea
Definition #1: a group of many islands or the sea containing them
Sentence 1: an archipelago of 1,150 islands in the South Pacific, the Marshall islands gained independence
from the United States in 1986.
Definition #2: A group of separate entities contained within a defined area.
Sentence #2: Although Simon Bolivar dreamed of creating a single nation of the South American regions
he helped to liberate from Spanish domination in the 1820s, today they remain an archipelago of individual states.
Noun (singular or plural)
Definition: The collected records of an organization, institution, or public person.
Sentence: Letters and papers in her archives reveal Emma Goldman's passionate belief in the right of
citizens to criticize the constraints of unreasonable government
In some cultures, archives prevail in other than written form. The Hmong peoples of southeast Asia,
forbidden by their conquerors in the eighteenth century to use their written language, managed to record their history on
colorful tapestries using embroidery and applique’ work. In western African communities a succession of elders called
griots has served as a living archive of a people’s oral history from its remembered beginnings.
Greek – an – without
Definition #1: absence of any form of government or political authority; lawlessness
Sentence: In the opinion of Katherine Anne Porter, anarchy is harder for human beings to cope with
than the greatest abuses and restrictions of oppressive government.
Definition #2: Disorder and confusion
Sentence #2: Although the shipwrecked boys in Lord of the Flies at first attempt to govern themselves,
their altercations lead to anarchy and self-destruction.
Oligos – Greek – “few”
Definition: Government by the few, especially a faction of persons or families.
Sentence: In The House of the Spirits Isabel Allende describes a Chilean oligarchy composed of wealthy
landowners who refuse to extend land rights to the peasants who work their haciendas.
The prefix arch- indicates “a chief of highest rank,” as in archangel and
archbishop; it can also mean “the first or ultimate of its kind,” as in archenemy or archfiend
(often Satan or the devil). The root arch in words like patriarch and oligarch means “leader” or
ruler.” Archy indicates the form of “rule” or “government,” as in matriarchy and
Greek – “people”
Apogos – Greek – “leading”
A leader or agitator who appeals to people’s passions and prejudices rather than to their reason.
Sentence: Willie Stark in all the King’s Men resembles Huey P. Long, a demagogue who bullied
and charmed his way to power as governor of Louisiana in the 1920s and 1930s.
En – Greek – “in”
Definition: commonly found in a particular region or among a particular people
Sentence: Before the draining of swamplands in the 1890s, malaria was endemic in southern Italy.
Pan – Greek – “all”
Definition: Spread throughout a wide geographic area; worldwide
Sentence: the disease known as AIDS has remained a pandemic threat since it was first identified in
The Latin counterpart of the Greek root demos, “people,” is populus, familiar
in the derivatives depopulate, pop (as in pop art and music), populace, popular, and popularity.
Also in general use is the Latin phrase vox populi, meaning “the voice of the people.”
DEMOS AND POPULUS
Grex, Gregis + Eikon
“Flock,” “Herd,” “Crowd”
Definition# 1: Liking companionship; sociable
Sentence #1:Gertrude Stein’s Paris salon, where gregarious American writers and artists gathered
in the 1920s, became the center of the expatriate movement whose members Stein called “the lost generation.”
Definition #2: Tending to live or move in groups of one’s own kind.
Sentence#2: to Barry Lopez the thousands of gregarious snow geese fluidly rising and swirling above
grain fields near Tule Lake in California resembled schools of fish above the ocean floor.
Definition: a large group or collection of people, animals or things.
Sentence: Appearing to be a harmless floating sac, the marine animal known as Portuguese man-of-war
conceals an underwater aggregation of polyps suspending poisonous tentacles.
E or es = Latin –
Extraordinarily bad; flagrant.
Forty years after the discovery of Piltdown man was announced in 1912, this “missing link” in human evolution
was proved to be an egregious hoax perpetrated by planting the bones of an orangutan with a modern human skull.
Definition #1: an image, representation, or symbol
Sentence #1: Carved figures such as eagles, ravens and whales that decorated interior and exterior
poles of Haida dwellings on the Northwest were icons derived from myths and family crests.
Definition #2: A representation or picture of a sacred personage or event, traditionally painted on
wooden panels in the manner of Eastern Orthodox churches.
Sentence #2: The convention of Russian icons began in the tenth century when princes of Kiev brought
back images from churches in Constantinople.
Definition #3: A person greatly admired for a particular talent, quality, or service.
Sentence #3: Known as El Rey, the bandleader Tito Puente became an icon of Latino music combining jazz
and Latin rhythms.
Computer users are familiar with the term icon as a symbol for programs; in the days of hand presses,
certain frequently-used pictorial blocks were also called icons.
Klasis – Greek – “fracture”
Definition #1: Breaking or destroying images (referring especially to a movement to destroy images
in Eastern Orthodox churches during the ninth and tenth centuries and a later Protestant movement.)
Sentence #1 – In sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe some iconoclastic Protestants smashed
stained glass windows, beheaded religious statuary, and white-washed church murals in their effort to eradicate what they
considered idolatry of sacred images.
Definition #2: Attacking or overthrowing tradition or popular ideas, institutions, or conventions.
Sentence #2: As Charles Darwin sailed around South America on the Beagle, he developed his iconoclastic
theory of evolution.