Word Origins

English is a very new language (compared to the history of the world).

English has borrowed words from many different languages. Some of the words come from Old English or Middle English (the kind they spoke way back in the time of Geoffrey Chaucer). Other words come from French or German or Greek or Latin or Spanish or Arabic. And there are many words that come from Native American languages as well as Chinese words, Tagalog words, Russian words and just about any other language.

The word ETYMOLOGY means the origins and roots of a word. If you look up a word on wikipedia.com you can choose “Etymology” to find the origins of that word.

Mr. Machtay will hand out a list of 24 words. You will work with partners to find the origins/roots of 4 of those words. Then the class will share the origins. Everyone is expected to fill out the full list.

Once the list is completed, pay attention to patterns: Is there one language that gave us a lot of words for food, while another language gave us words for farm animals? Is there one language that gave us a lot of words for clothes, while another language gave us many of the words for the academic subjects you take in school.

And why does the word “Algebra” come from one specific language?