10 Greek Words Used In English Writing

September 27, 2011

in Creative writing

The Greek language has had considerable impact on the English dictionary, and while it is normally Latin that gets a favorable mention, today we honor some great Greek words used in everyday English writing.

1. Kudos

To give kudos is to offer fame, glory or high recognition of achievement. Note that in American English usage, kudos can take on plural form; for example, “ He deserves many kudos for such work.”

2. Phobia

Contrary to popular belief, phobia isn’t just fear, it’s an irrational and exaggerated fear of something. Phobia can be associated with people, animals or situations.

3. Plethora

A plethora refers to an over abundance or excess; a superabundance. For example, you might say, “We have a plethora of food for this party.”

4. Genesis

Genesis means birth, origin or the coming into being of something, which is why the first book of the Bible is called Genesis.

5. Dogma

Dogma refers to a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. Dogma is usually associated with religion, where the principles and beliefs are undisputable and authoritative. Pluralized, dogma becomes ‘dogmas’ or dogmata.

6. Ethos

In Greek, ethos means “accustomed place.” It is used in the English language to refer to the disposition or characteristics of a specific ideology or person.

7. Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells, or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. There are over 400 types of Anemia.

8. Acme

Acme refers to the highest point of an achievement or development. It represents perfection of the thing expressed, for example, “He has reached the acme of his career.”

9. Agora

Agora comes from the word for an open market place found in many of the cities of ancient Greece. In the modern day we use this word to describe any type of open assembly or congregation.

10. Eureka

Founded by famous Greek mathematician, Archimedes, eureka represents a celebrated discovery. When Archimedes discovered that the water displaced by submerging a part of his body in the bath, was equal to the volume of the submerged body part,  he ran into the street shouting eureka! Eureka!

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