Wordy Weekly III

Two for the price of 1 today!


i) Anhydrous - containing no water.

The term comes from Greek, as do a lot of our science terms in English. I shall include more as we move through the alphabet.


‘-hydrous’ is the part of the word denoting water and it comes from the Greek ὑδωρ (hudor) = water. The Greek ‘u’ is often transliterated with a ‘y’ in English (for example, ψύχη = psyche).


‘containing no..’ is denoted by the ‘α’ (alpha) or αν (an). This called the ‘privative alpha’, or to put it more simply, it is like the English ‘un-‘, (natural, un-natural). So ‘anhydrous’ literally means ‘un-watered’ or ‘without water’.


ii) Aggression - inclined to confront, attack, overcome


The term comes from the Latin ‘adgredior’. The past participle is ‘adgressus’, or ‘aggressus’ (the ‘dg’ gradually evolved into ‘gg’; it is both easier to say and to listen to).


‘adgredior’ originally means ‘approach’, ‘head towards’, and also came to mean ‘to attack’.

The ending ‘-ion’ comes from the Latin noun ending ‘-io’. ‘aggressio’ is the noun connected to the verb.

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