Varro's pages

Words & derivations

These pages are dedicated to Marcus Terentius Varro, a Roman writer of the first century BC. Like many since, he thought he knew everything, and was particularly fond of pontificating on the derivation and correct meaning of words. Here I shall pontificate about words of Greek or Latin origin that have attracted my attention for some reason - perhaps a novel usage, or because they are being irritatingly misused or abused.

Please feel free to send in words for this page via email.

For the dedicated word aficionado, here is a today's word (courtesy of AWAD - A Word A Day). Not always classical, but always fascinating! Click on the word in blue for details.


As Edmund Waller wrote in the 17th century,

Poets that lasting marble seek,
Must carve in Latin or in Greek.
We write in sand, our language grows,
And like the tide, our work o'erflows.

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